(PITTSBURGH, PA) – WQED Multimedia today announced the launch of a new podcast called “Gumbands.” Hosted by popular producer Rick Sebak, the podcast will celebrate Pittsburgh, its people, its history, its products and its seemingly endless supply of unusual charms.
“Gumbands” will be available at https://www.wqed.org/gumbands, on YouTube and wherever you get your podcasts, starting on May 22, 2023. There will be audio-only programs and video versions of most interviews hosted by Sebak, working closely with Rich Capaldi who has been producing at WQED since 2017.
“I’ve never done a podcast before,” said Sebak, “so we’re learning as we go. Are there rules? We just want to try a new format for celebrating many of the things that I like about this city and the surrounding area.” First guests on the podcast include Sarah McAlee who makes and sells soups as an Instagram entrepreneur called @brothmonger, and local author Bill Tippins, who has written two books for young readers set in a fictional prehistoric place near where two rivers come together. “We know that people around here have special affection for words that are called Pittsburghese, and most local folks just know that a gumband is simply a rubber band, although the exact origins of our variation are not known. So I like to say that our podcast is ‘holding Pittsburgh together,’” remarked Sebak.
About Rick Sebak
Rick Sebak has been working in public broadcasting for more than 45 years, making television documentaries, many about the charms of Pittsburgh as well as fourteen national PBS programs celebrating often overlooked aspects of American culture from hot dogs to flea markets to cemeteries. He is currently hosting a Pittsburgh podcast called “Gumbands” that includes a lot of talk about the charms of the city where he was born.
Sebak began his career at the South Carolina Educational Television Network, creating documentaries like “Shag” and “The Slightly Wacky Aussie Doco.” In Pittsburgh, his works are known as “The Pittsburgh History Series,” covering topics like the local amusement park, diners, and the essence of Pittsburgh itself. Sebak’s engaging storytelling has captivated national audiences through programs such as “An Ice Cream Show” and “A Hot Dog Program,” earning him praise as a compelling filmmaker.
Throughout his career, Rick Sebak has received several accolades, including regional Emmy Awards and two national Emmy nominations. He has made a lasting impact on Pittsburgh, with a drink named after him at a local bar and being recognized as one of the 50 Greatest Pittsburghers Of All Time by Pittsburgh Magazine. His contributions to the city are further exemplified by a street named in his honor. Sebak’s films have been described as brainwashing in the most positive sense, as they inspire viewers to explore the places he showcases firsthand. His enduring passion and talent have cemented his legacy in the world of public broadcasting.
WQED was an experiment in educational community-supported television that was the forerunner to PBS. Today, WQED is a multimedia powerhouse that is as much a part of Pittsburgh as the three rivers. WQED is WQED-TV (PBS); WQED World; WQED Create; WQED Showcase; WQED PBS KIDS Channel; Classical WQED-FM 89.3/Pittsburgh; Classical WQEJ-FM 89.7/Johnstown; the Pittsburgh Concert Channel at WQED-HD2 (89.3-2FM) and online; streaming and apps, and WQED Interactive.
WQED is a premier leader in broadcast and digital video production, producing socially relevant, historical, arts, entertainment and educational programming resources. WQED’s Learning Neighborhood model creates an education continuum dedicated to serving our youngest neighbors through Ready To Learn programming, while engaging high school students learning filmmaking and exploring employment opportunities through the WQED Film Academy.