The Heart tells stories of love, but doesn’t dance around a key element that’s often ignored, sex. Kaitlin described that the subject matter is often vulnerable and naked, radio without barriers. They don’t want to shock, but to be both real and true.
The show came from a radical community radio station in Montreal, Canada broadcast at 6pm on a Wednesday. They were lucky the station took a flyer on them, but through the show, they thought there was a larger public radio potential in the CBC/NPR mode. But the more they tried, the less possible it seemed. They were often laughed out of the room so they really became a podcast by accident. Instead they concentrated on the show, growing an audience from 5,000 downloads an episode to 20,000 a year later. This growth and the postSerial rise of podcasting meant there was interest in them joining the Radiotopia network.
Kaitlin thought the podcast’s success came from listeners being hungry for something different and the output being truly different from the more traditional classic public radio sound. This difference is also something she felt makes the listener feel more connected and closer to the show.
Overall, Kaitlin sees The Heart as an art project, where the podcast is just one element. Alongside the audio is a strong events programme where she helps listeners “feel like they’re stepping into the world of the show”. The events themselves are important as in the listener’s mind they associate a great experience with the core of the show’s brand. Asked by moderator Paula Cordeiro about what she’s trying to do with The Heart, Kaitlin said that fundamentally she’s trying to make something special. For radio she wants to change the culture of medium, create the classics of tomorrow and help make a medium that’s respected as much as film and literature.