When I travel, I try to get to know a place by learning more about its community before I arrive. I spend more time in places that fit my style and it makes the visit more fun and memorable. A new monthly online talk show, Bellingham Tonight, is an excellent resource for locals and visitors alike. With their own unique and amusing take, this late-night talk show meets local access television with a positive look inside the Bellingham and Whatcom County community.
The Bellingham Tonight Team
I have had the pleasure of knowing one of the show’s hosts, Kevin Coleman, for several years. He and the show’s producer, Josh Burdick of Veritas Media Productions, are champions of the local business community. One of the things I love most about Kevin is that he is also a visual artist. He spreads his #RippleofPositivity through his Give Back program, where he creates original art pieces and then donates them to fundraising events for local nonprofits—a ripple of positivity indeed.
Both Kevin and Josh are also active in supporting fellow business owners through the Bellingham Whatcom County Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
I am very excited to get to know Bellingham Tonight’s co-host, Kristina Michele. She is a San Diego native who moved to Bellingham with the grand vision to become Bellingham’s own Oprah, or Boprah as the kids call her, #Oprahing. She has lots of experience in the podcast world and you can check out her radio shows that also highlight the Bellingham area. Thursdays with Kristina Michele airs live every Thursday at 2 p.m. on KZAX-Lp 94.9 FM and her podcast titled Mission Accomplished? airs every other Tuesday and is also available for streaming.
Behind the Scenes
According to Josh Burdick, the idea for the show came from a newer member of his team, Director of Live Events Luke Holtgeerts. Although still a young professional, Luke’s background in film started in Anacortes when he was very young. He has more than 11 years experience in community-focused film and media production and went on to win national and international festival awards for his work. He serves on the council for Whatcom Young Professionals, the OSPI Media Arts Cadre, and is a co-founder of the Bellingham Youth Media Project.
I recently attended the live taping of their pilot episode of Bellingham Tonight. There’s nothing like being part of a live studio audience—you’re like another member of the team witnessing creativity and hard work in action.
Bellingham Tonight’s Core Concept
Veritas Productions has a lot of experience using media as a communication tool for businesses through commercial, marketing and training video production. But this is their first attempt at live format. Josh and Luke developed the show’s concept for almost a year before the pilot episode launched in October 2019.
Bellingham Tonight asked the community what they’d most like to see and the response was overwhelming. Locals asked for more coverage of the arts, entertainment and sports. The Veritas team also wants to serve the community by covering local issues that affect them most. Their pilot episode includes interviews with both candidates in the 2019 Bellingham Mayoral race, April Barker and Seth Fleetwood.
Future episodes plan to use positive storytelling to engage the community and address issues with live guest interviews and Talk of the Town segments. Upcoming episodes will share stories on Bellingham’s identity, its unique history, approaches to addressing homelessness and further plans for waterfront redevelopment.
Also in the works are behind-the-scenes profiles of local restaurants, breweries and other businesses to highlight Bellingham’s vibrant business community. The sports coverage will evolve to include interviews with world-class athletes that have chosen Whatcom County as their home.
Kevin found that both individuals and businesses in the community were excited to support the show. Their Facebook page got more than 1000 likes in the first month. Local business sponsors stepped up quickly to cover the first three episodes and ideas for future segments are pouring in from an engaged community.
You can hear more about the show from this interview with host Kevin Coleman and creators Josh Burdick and Luke Holtgeerts originally on KGMI 96.5 FM radio.
While Bellingham Tonight is still in the development phase, the Veritas team hopes to eventually increase their coverage to twice a month. Be sure to check out this exciting new talk show and get to know the fascinating Bellingham and Whatcom County community just a little bit better before your next visit.
Bellingham Tonight Continues
Check out Bellingham Tonight’s YouTube Channel to learn how Bellingham and Whatcom County business, restaurants and organizations are adapting to the Stay Safe, Stay at Home order.