A Conversation with New Orleans’ Best Local Radio Host: Stevie G and TPot.
Eric Craig | 11/7/2016, 10:46 a.m. | Updated on 11/7/2016, 10:46 a.m.
In New Orleans, there are 39 local radio stations, and only one has the rated best local radio host in the city: B97, WEZB 97.1 FM.
At 2 p.m. every weekday, Stephen and Tierza Guggenheimer, better known as Stevie G and TPot, host “The Afternoon Swirl,” a show dedicated to top hits, pop-culture talk and various other life topics. What’s the best part? It’s all from a point of view of a New Orleans married couple.
For the past two years in a row, the duo has won “Best Local Radio Host” in Gambit Weekly.
While the duo spends most of their day discussing funny topics, interviewing artist, answering listeners and playing the top-40 hits, what are they like behind the scenes?
“The Afternoon Swirl,” a four hour talk segment has ran on B97 for over ten years. These 10 years would be a dream for anyone that loved radio.
“Radio has never been what I wanted to do,” Stevie G said when asked why they chose a career radio.
“Same here,” TPot said.
“But I loved it when I started doing it, so I stayed,” she added.
TPot, born and raised in New Orleans, majored in computer science at Xavier University of Louisiana. Realizing that her relationship with math was not going to work, she switched to communications. Two week later, she started interning at B97 and has been there ever since.
Stevie, on the other hand, majored in English Literature at the University of New Orleans. Wanting to do something fun, challenging and creative he joined the theater club and practiced performing arts. Wanting to get his hands in something new, he interned at B97.
The two started working together in 2000, and by 2004 they had a morning show routine with DJ Kidd Kraddick. While the show was short lived, their relationship blossomed from friendship to marriage.
But everything changed when Hurricane Katrina hit. While the hurricane devastated the city, Stevie and TPot returned to B97.
“Our boss was like you know what? The city is a dump right now, so I think a show following your engagement would be something that is happy,” TPot said.
That day, The Afternoon Swirl was born.
Running the Show
TPot and Stevie agreed that running an on-air, live show can be difficult. But with a little effort, and God-given synergy, the duo makes happen.
“It’s never actually planned,” Stevie said, referring to the set-up of the show.
“The serendipity of it is that we’re able to slip in or out of being the funny one and following along. We don’t have to communicate who does what,” he added.
While the witty performance of the two is refined by practice, skill and a little bit of luck, it’s not the hardest part of working on the radio station.
“The hardest part if when I get feedback is when they’re right and you’re wrong. It’s hard to admit when you’re wrong,” Stevie said
While feedback can be hard, working at B97 is no easy feat.
“Everything you hear on the radio one of us has done, one of us has pushed a button,” Stevie said. “We don’t just talk.”
Stevie and TPot handle on-air phone calls, edit sound bites and recorded phone calls, queuing commercials, music and more without staff.
While the job can be though, the couple found their work to be very rewarding.
“Talking to listeners, or when I get to know them and recognize their voice, is always really fun for me” TPot said.
“I really enjoy doing that. I feel like that really makes people’s day and add a personal touch to the show.”
The Duo currently hosts “The Afternoon Swirl” every weekday from 2-6 p.m. Additionally, they are on 504TV every Thursday with Sheba Turk.
For more on the spot coverage of the duo, follow their segment channel on Facebook and Twitter @Afternoonswirl.
Fun Facts about Stevie G
Hobbies other than radio: Wrote a full length novel tilted Dirt Nap Rhapsody, and knows how to code for web, iOS and other platforms.
Fun Fact about TPot
What makes you laugh: “You want to get me? Put some clothes on an animal.”