After months of planning, the DMV Download, WTOP’s first daily news podcast, debuts April 19.
Co-hosts Megan Cloherty and Luke Garrett sat down with WTOP’s Shawn Anderson to talk about how the project began and what listeners can expect.
The DMV Download is a 20-minute podcast that drops at 4 p.m. each weekday focusing on the biggest local stories of the day. Each afternoon, Cloherty and Garrett interview WTOP reporters covering these stories to provide listeners with more context, background and perspectives about the headlines they’ve heard on 103.5 FM throughout the day.
“Our goal every day is to pick the most impactful stories in the region … that you are hearing on WTOP each day, and sit down with the reporters, sit down with the source, and talk to them more about the why, the context, and get into it. And then, deliver that to you in podcast form,” Cloherty told Anderson.
“There are these side conversations you have with reporters and these stories just come alive. This podcast is a place where we capture our reporters telling their stories at length,” Garrett added.
Watch Megan and Luke’s interview with WTOP’s Shawn Anderson below:
The podcast is meant to be a companion product to WTOP’s 24/7 live news radio programming.
“I think the whole point of WTOP [radio] is that you get what you need to know quickly, so you can continue with your day,” Cloherty said. “But, usually, there is a lot that didn’t make it into that wrap that we put onto the air each day. This [podcast] is the space where we can tell you a little more about the stories impacting your neighborhood, your job, your region.”
The team plans to post the DMV Download in video form each day on YouTube, which the podcast industry considers the second-largest source for podcast listeners.
- Listen to the first official episode of the DMV Download podcast, sponsored by Steamfitters Local 602.
Cloherty has plenty of experience in front of the camera; she was a local TV reporter before coming to WTOP in 2012. She was named WTOP’s investigative reporter in 2019, the same year she found success in podcasting as the co-creator of the first season of WTOP’s American Nightmare series, “22 Hours: An American Nightmare.”
Cloherty is working full-time on hosting and producing the DMV Download, but she’s looking forward to continuing her investigative reporting as well.
“We’ll have a space on the podcast where we can put lengthy stories that are investigative pieces that you’ll then also hear on WTOP. We’ll be able to share the content, putting something on WTOP saying, ‘Hey, here’s my start to this investigation. If you want to hear more, join us on the podcast.’ We’re hoping we can really pair together the products and give people more content,” Cloherty said.
Garrett came to WTOP in 2020 after graduating from the University of San Diego, where he studied physics and philosophy and served as editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, The USD Vista. Over the past two years, Garrett has served as a producer at WTOP and host of the weekly Is It Normal Yet?! podcast, which dove into the nearly constant changes COVID-19 inflicted on daily life in the D.C. area.
- Become a DMV Download podcast VIP (a DMV. I. P.) to receive exclusive content, access to prizes and insider insight.
So, why release the podcast in the afternoon?
With so many national news podcasts released each morning, an afternoon podcast gives listeners an opportunity to balance out their daily news diets with a jolt of local news in podcast form.
“You’re coming home; you’ve just gotten off work, and I think a lot of people have their daily national podcasts set,” Garrett said. “And so we’re looking to give people a local taste in the afternoon.”
The DMV Download joins the growing list of podcasts produced by WTOP, including the American Nightmare Series, Colors: A Dialogue on Race in America, Target USA, The DC Sports Huddle, The Week on the Hill and Beyond the Fame.