Tuning into Nantucket’s first and only podcast, “Inside the Whale.”
Podcasts have exploded on the World Wide Web in recent years, but Nantucket was slow to dial in one of its own. Then this summer a Nantucket washashore named Doug Cote donned the headset and created “Inside the Whale,” a local podcast broadcasting island living over the internet. Now twenty-plus episodes and counting, Cote’s “Inside the Whale” is building an audience beyond Nantucket and creating an oral history for the island.
N MAGAZINE: Some of our readers might not know what a podcast is. Give us your down and dirty description of a podcast.
DOUG COTE: As I explained to my parents (both of whom are in their seventies and somewhat technologically challenged), a podcast is a really convenient radio show found on the internet. And by convenient, I mean you can click and listen whenever and wherever you want. Because of obvious advances in technology, the way we consume content has completely changed. The popularity of podcasts is really a direct reflection of those advances and how and when we use media content.
N MAGAZINE: Why did you think Nantucket needed its own podcast?
DOUG COTE: It wasn’t so much a need as a vibe that Nantucket was just perfect for a podcast. Like many island residents before me, I saw a need for something that no one was doing out here. Nantucket is a dynamic place, filled with people with amazing stories. “Inside the Whale” is a way of creating an oral history for the island. And a podcast fell just into my wheelhouse.
N MAGAZINE: Why do you think hosting a podcast is in your wheelhouse? What did you do before this?
DOUG COTE: I moved to New York City right out of college to work for The Daily Show, but I got fired (long story) and started doing stand-up comedy. That led to doing commercials and voice-overs. I also started a band called “The Sweet Ones.” So I’ve been performing professionally for the last fifteen years, both musically and as an actor. Then Nantucket happened.
N MAGAZINE: How did you end up on Nantucket?
DOUG COTE: My good friend Floyd Kellogg was playing music out here, and I was in desperate need of a break from the New York grind. One night at a bar in Brooklyn, we got to talking and I decided on a whim to come to the island and check it out. A month later I came out here and lived in a shed for the summer. That was five years ago. I eventually met my fiancé out here and now we have an awesome baby girl. I went from 10003 to 02554 and I couldn’t be happier about that.
N MAGAZINE: You’ve interviewed folks from all walks of life on the island. What are some of the big takeaways you’ve learned from this debut season of “Inside the Whale”?
DOUG COTE: The one thing I am learning is the art of the interview. It’s definitely a true art form and I am still a student. I’m also learning that Nantucket is like an onion; there’s lots of layers and personalities out there. And it cooks well! The island has a lot to offer as long as you’re willing to cast your line out there.
N MAGAZINE: Who have been some of your more interesting guests?
DOUG COTE: The episode with local artist Sunny Wood was very pivotal for me. He was one of my first guests and I was really new to the process of producing the show. But Sunny’s story was so interesting, and the response was so great, that I knew was on to something.
N MAGAZINE: Who is on your wish list for future guests?
DOUG COTE: Kate Brosnan and Tom Scott are on my radar. I went to the Nantucket Project this year and was blown away by the integrity of the whole weekend and their mission. Others include Sheriff Perelman, Ben Stiller, and the new fire chief Paul Rhude.
N MAGAZINE: Where do you see “Inside the Whale” going in the season to come? Any particular topics you want to tackle?
DOUG COTE: I am really focused on bringing in people with great stories, but I will sit down with anyone, because we all have a story. I want to do an episode about sobriety on Nantucket as well as a chefs’ episode where we talk about food and culture on the island.
N MAGAZINE: Who is your target audience and what can people expect to experience when listening to your show?
DOUG COTE: That’s a great question. I think the show is still figuring that out. I’d like to think that a grandma might enjoy listening as well as the guys traveling from Hyannis to the island on the Hy-Line ferry everyday. “Inside the Whale” is a specific type podcast. I’m interested in long form conversations. I believe that through hearing different perspectives and personal stories, we can become empowered and inspired as listeners.
Tune into Inside the Whale by logging on to www.soundcloud.com/insidethewhaleack.