ON THE AIR: New Palestine teen’s podcast is attracting attention

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NEW PALESTINE — The list of people Jacob Buehrer has interviewed for his newly created podcast is impressive. A rundown of the names might make some wonder how a teenager from New Palestine is getting the chance to have in-depth conversations with some nationally known names in politics, business and entertainment.

From former Apple CEO John Sculley to Michael Reagan, the son of President Ronald Reagan, it’s been a great start for Jacob, a New Palestine High School junior who started his podcast, “The Jacob Buehrer Show,” six months ago as a way to express his creative energy.

“I got to interview Michael Reagan on the 40th anniversary of the assassination attempt on his dad,” Jacob said. “To me, that was incredible.”

The podcast can be heard every couple of weeks on Apple and Spotify and is attracting listeners from around the world. While most of the interviews are done remotely, Jacob has done some work in the field and even tracked down a business professional he wanted to interview in an airport when he was in Miami.

“I’ve had listeners all over the country and world, like in Brazil and other countries,” Jacob said.

The first episode, in December 2020, centered on politics, one of his passions. It was “nothing big,” Jacob said. But the adventure was fun, and he thought, why not try to get some big-name people on the show?

“With COVID and school getting cut short some days, I just started contacting people because I thought, what is the most they can say, ‘no,'” Jacob said.

With a little bit of ingenuity, he was able to find phone numbers and email addresses of some famous people and started reaching out to them. To his surprise, many were willing to come on his show.

“Some of them wondered how I got their contact information, but I would always tell them, ‘Let’s not worry about that. I’ve got a great opportunity for you,'” Jacob said.

As someone who has always been interested in broadcasting, Jacob said he was looking for something to get him off the sofa and into a more active role. Doing a podcast has done that.

He’s getting solid ratings, averaging a 4.5 out of 5 in online reviews. The podcasts are averaging a couple thousand listeners per episode, but the number of listeners varies depending on the guest.

Jacob was proud of landing an interview with Michelle Tidball, who was rapper Kanye West’s running mate during West’s third-party presidential campaign last fall. Jacob was told he was one of a handful of reporters who was able to interview the candidate.

“I really don’t know how me, a kid, was able to get that because they told me they said ‘no’ to Forbes,” Jacob said.

In a podcast with former astronaut Mark Mullane, who completed three space missions, Buehrer has a down-to-earth conversation, asking Mullane how he became involved in aviation and what it was like for him as a teenager to chase his dreams.

The whole process has been a great lesson for Jacob, because it has taught him to push forward and follow his ideas even if others don’t think his dreams have a chance of being a success.

“I’ve had some kids I go to school with tell me my podcast is nothing, but I get comments from California and all over telling me they really like it,” Jacob said. “That fuels me to keep going.”

His parents, Janice and Trent Buehrer, are proud of their son’s podcast and like the fact he’s finding a way to use his curiosity about politics, entertainment and other topics to ask questions and talk to people he finds interesting.

“He does have a lot of confidence in approaching people, even strangers and just starting a conversation,” his mother said. “He’s always been a really friendly person, a social kid. He has no fears about reaching out and calling or talking to people.”

The family is interested to see where their son’s hobby might lead. Janice said it will be fun to watch and see if the podcast does lead to a broadcasting career.

“He’s just not the kind of kid who can sit still for very long, he’s goer and a doer who gets bored easily,” his mother said. “He’s always looking to learn.”

Like many teens Jacob isn’t the biggest fan of traditional school; he likes to learn in his own way, and so far it’s working out, the family said.

“He researches people online, and if he finds something interesting he then goes after it,” Janice said.

Right now his podcast is just for fun, with no advertisers, but Jacob noted one never knows what can happen. He’s not sure what he’s going to study in college, but he’s been inspired to learn more about business, because he’s learned the money follows if a person puts forth a good product. He also has learned the key to success is not giving up.

“This one guy I talked to, it took 15 years just to get his fitness facility started in one place, and now he’s got over 2,000 all over,” Jacob said. “I’ve always believed (in following) your passion, and what you are good at will show.”

His two most recent podcast are interviews with Sam LeBlond, the nephew of President George W. Bush and grandson of President George H.W. Bush.

This past Friday, he was set to interview former Under Secretary of the Army Patrick Murphy.

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Some of the people who’ve appeared on the “The Jacob Buehrer Show”:

John Sculley, former Apple CEO

Kevin Lacey and Ken Cage from the TV program “Airplane Repo”

Former U.S. Rep. Jason Altmire

George Allen, former U.S. senator and governor of Virginia

Diego Morales, 2022 candidate for Indiana secretary of state

Former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales

Michael Reagan, son of President Ronald Reagan

George Cleveland, grandson of President Grover Cleveland

Mary Jean Eisenhower, granddaughter of President Dwight D. Eisenhower

Clifton Truman Daniel, grandson of President Harry S. Truman

James Carter IV, grandson of President Jimmy Carter

Actor Adam Ferrara from the TV programs “Top Gear” and “Nurse Jackie”

Stan Zuray of the TV program “Yukon Men”

Former astronaut Mark Mullane

Joe Torrillo, 9/11 first-responder/survivor and motivational speaker

Michelle Tidball, Kanye West’s running mate

Former Indianapolis Colts player Shawn Harper

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