Rockin’ Libsyn Podcasts: Mat Talk Podcast Network

Inside Virginia Tech Wrestling Monarch Matcast wrestling podcast

This series is all about Libsyn’s podcasters. Its sole purpose is to introduce these awesome podcasts to the world as well as share their podcasting insight to empower the community!

Q & A with Jason Bryant from The Mat Talk Podcast Network

When did you start podcasting?

I like to say I accidentally started podcasting in November of 2008.

I moved to Minnesota earlier that summer to work for a new start-up called Wrestling 411. Our plan was to do a weekly college wrestling television highlights show, kind of like a Sports Center for college wrestling.

An element of our brand was to do twice-weekly radio programs streamed live on the internet. We were on a pretty good college radio station at Augsburg College. We also recorded our show and posted the archive on our website.

I didn’t realize it at the time, our site administrator had an early version of powerpress running and on the side of the website were RSS and iTunes links. A few months later, we left Augsburg and started doing the show using Nicecast and having an early “podcast” set up in our studio.

We’d post the video to back then too.

It wasn’t until two years later that I started actually branding a show as a podcast, and that was when I went to the National Governing Body, USA Wrestling and started the USA Wrestling Matchat Podcast.

I wrote my own XML and self-hosed the audio files.

Talk about doing things backwards.

I eventually realized our other WordPress site was a good place for setting up the RSS and the podcast. When I moved on and launched my flagship show, the Short Time Wrestling Podcast, I finally did things the right way with specific media hosting, stats and better audio quality.

It took several years to figure things out, but once I spent the time to research how to do things right. So a long answer to a short question is I’ve been podcasting since 2008, but experienced a revival in November of 2013.

Why did you start podcasting?

During the Wrestling 411 time, I ran into a wrestler who was training for a big national competition outside of an arena.

He said “Dude, I listen to your show on my iPod when I work out.” That kind of planted the idea in my head that I should be branding the word “podcast” on my offerings.

Wrestling 411 tanked shortly thereafter and I podfaded my Matchat show a few years later, mainly because I was just too busy with the responsibilities in my job.

What’s your show about?

My flagship show, Short Time, is a program with a national scope.

Interviews with movers and shakers, top athletes and coaches and relevant celebrities and people in other walks of life who have wrestling backgrounds.

I’ve had MMA fighters like Mo Lawal, Phil Davis and Joe Warren, Indy 500 driver Sage Karam, ESPN radio personality Mike Golic and even Miss Virginia USA Arielle Rosmarino on my main show. 

I have five other shows as part of the network, and they are specific to clients who have hired me to host, edit and produce shows for them.

Three are Division I college wrestling programs at Virginia Tech, Maryland and Old Dominion. I have another show centered around the Virginia USA Wrestling state chapter that’s released once a month and I have a roundtable type of show with a group called the World Wrestling Resource, a company that’s using the podcast to push their brand and services. 

The three college shows follow the same format – coach and athlete interviews, news and notes about the team and match recaps and previews. Three team-specific shows were launched since August with the Virginia Tech show released on September 30, specifically for National Podcast Day. 

What’s your podcasting set-up? Hardware, software, CMS, etc.

Using a MacBook Pro late 2013 model with a Yamaha 102c Mixer with a Behringer U-Control USB Audio Interface.

Using a Roland R–05 for external recording and also use eCamm Call Recorder as a main backup to record my calls.

Got a standard mic boom arm with an ATR2100 and AT2005 to do my main voice work. I also use the ATR2100 and the Roland for remote interviews using an XLR to 1/8-inch jack.

I use Adobe Audition to edit my audio.

I’ve recently added a Zoom H5 and an extra ATR2100, so now I have a travel-friendly mobile recording setup with two mics, two portable mic stands and a recording device. I recently used it in New York City.

All sites are running WordPress with all my client shows (everything but Short Time) all running the Appendipity Podcast Pro theme.

All five of my client shows are hosted with Libsyn. 

How have you promoted your podcast?

Each individual show on the Mat Talk Podcast Network gets promoted on the network page, their own individual pages, the main Mat Talk twitter account (@mattalkonline) and my personal twitter account (@jasonmbryant).

I also have a Facebook page with the Mat Talk Podcast Network and I share the show updates and tag the specific schools while sharing on Facebook.

My personal Facebook and Twitter accounts have over 4,000 followers/fans each, most are wrestling fans, so cross-promoting on my personal accounts also has a significant reach compared to my new social media platforms for the network.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?

Back when Wrestling 411 was going, I feel if I could have marketed this as a podcast sooner and been able to set up my mix-minus and video settings right, the product would have been much more polished. After all the trial and error, I’ve been able to produce team-specific shows at a pretty high quality and a good response.

Passionate about Old Dominion University and Virginia Tech? Or even college wrestling as a whole, then you must subscribe to these awesome podcasts which you can find here, here and the whole lot over here.

Are you wanting to produce content about something that you are totally psyched about? Go ahead and START, we would love to help you along your podcasting journey and host your media.




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