In an engaging interview, Patricia Raskin, a seasoned host at VoiceAmerica, discusses her journey in the broadcasting industry, the evolution of media, and the impact of her show, the “Patricia Raskin Positive Living Show.” Conducted by Rachel Stapholz, the Creative Director of VoiceAmerica, the interview sheds light on Patricia’s extensive experience and the valuable insights she has gained from interviewing over 5,000 individuals during her 21 years at VoiceAmerica.
Patricia Raskin began her program on positive living at VoiceAmerica with vast experience in television and radio. Prior to her broadcasting career, she worked in the education and psychology industry as a teacher and guidance counselor. She recalls, “I initially entered broadcasting through cable television, where I hosted one of the pioneering programs on Community Access TV. Additionally, I was a child prodigy singer, never realizing that my voice would evolve into my career as an interviewer.”
Following her initial venture into cable television, she produced numerous TV and radio programs that were aired on local broadcasting stations. However, she yearned for an opportunity to have her program reach beyond the confines of the local region.
Patricia’s desire for global reach led her to VoiceAmerica, where she found the platform to share her message beyond geographical boundaries. “I ended up talking to the previous owner [of VoiceAmerica] who passed, Jeff Spenard, who became a very good friend of mine… I started my program on VoiceAmerica in 2002 and I’ve been there ever since.” Reflecting on her interactions with Jeff, Patricia recalled her initial invitation to Phoenix to meet the VoiceAmerica team. “When Jeff would come back to Rhode Island, we would get together. And I interviewed Jeff on my radio program on WPRO, the [Cumulus Media] affiliate in Providence, Rhode Island where he talked about being a Rhode Island boy and his vision and role at VoiceAmerica.”
While Patricia has produced programs for local affiliates of major networks including FOX, ABC, PBS, and NPR, her enduring commitment to VoiceAmerica over the past twenty-one years has remained focused on showcasing positive role models to the public and aiding individuals in transforming obstacles into opportunities and problems into solutions.
Throughout her career, Patricia has witnessed a dramatic shift in the media landscape. “When I started four decades ago, you had to approach a station and sell an idea for a program to be on the air. It’s much easier today as anyone can have a podcast.” Patricia emphasized that this accessibility has empowered individuals to share their voices, similar to the transformation seen in the publishing industry. While the proliferation of podcasts presents challenges, it remains a powerful tool for sharing knowledge and building connections.
In her early days at VoiceAmerica, Patricia not only hosted but also coached both new guests and long-standing hosts, later transitioning into a role fulfilled by executive producers. She praised VoiceAmerica’s adaptability to new technologies and trends, highlighting how it has evolved from internet talk radio to a comprehensive internet talk radio and podcast network. “I just think that VoiceAmerica has stood the test of time.”
Patricia’s show, the “Patricia Raskin Positive Living Show,” originates from her passion for positive living and personal growth. She shared, “I focused on positive living because it’s something I wanted more in my own life. There is a book by Richard Bach called Illusions. There’s a quote in the book, and it’s what I live by: ‘You teach others what you need to learn most for yourself.’ And that is what I have done my entire life.”
Her commitment to positive living is grounded in her belief that teaching others what one needs to learn oneself can lead to transformative change. Patricia also champions the concept of positive aging on her show, countering prevalent misconceptions about older individuals. “People think that older people have one foot in the grave…then the myth older people are technologically challenged and adverse — fact is that people over 50 are leading adapters and drivers of many tech devices.” Through her radio and podcast programs, she dismantles these misbeliefs and engages in discussions that redefine societal views on aging.
Patricia’s radio programs have welcomed an impressive array of guests, including the renowned American memoirist Maya Angelou, who, in Patricia’s words, “was like Mother Teresa in terms of her ability to love and forgive.” Among the recent guests are Megan Carle, a former vice president at Nike and author of Walk Away to Win: A Playbook for Workplace Bullying, and Tracey Marks, a psychiatrist and author of Why Am I So Anxious? Powerful Tools for Recognizing Anxiety and Restoring Your Peace. Patricia emphasized that these stories are both educational and inspirational, offering invaluable tools that are pivotal to the public.
As a media and podcast producer, Patricia plays a crucial role in helping individuals, companies and healthcare institutions launch their own shows. She helps clients find the “why” of their podcast, structure their content, and learn how to engage audiences effectively. Patricia’s extensive network and experience make her an indispensable resource for aspiring broadcasters. Her journey has been marked by a continuous pursuit of personal growth, a passion for uplifting narratives, and a dedication to helping others share their stories.
In the expansive landscape of her career as a radio show host, alongside her interactions with thousands of guests, Patricia has accumulated a wealth of insights. Her message is, “Go after your passion and know what your gifts are and use them wisely. If you know you’re a great storyteller, use that because that helps other people. We often take our gifts for granted. And I’m saying, don’t. Know what you’re really good at and capitalize on that.”