100 episodes

Tim O'Brien from O'Brien Communications helps you immerse yourself in a story, a time, a place or just an idea that has shaped the way we think. Each episode will make you see things a little differently about subjects and ideas you thought you knew. Shaping Opinion resides at the intersection of history, communication and culture. Each episode tells a story through conversation. Tim O'Brien is a veteran public relations professional who has handled a wide range of complex PR matters for clients and organizations. Good PR sees the big picture and that's what this podcast is designed to do.

Our stories are always interesting, sometimes offbeat. Warning: After listening, you will come away with a new and fresh perspective.

Shaping Opinion Tim O'Brien

    • Personal Journals
    • 5.0, 70 Ratings

Tim O'Brien from O'Brien Communications helps you immerse yourself in a story, a time, a place or just an idea that has shaped the way we think. Each episode will make you see things a little differently about subjects and ideas you thought you knew. Shaping Opinion resides at the intersection of history, communication and culture. Each episode tells a story through conversation. Tim O'Brien is a veteran public relations professional who has handled a wide range of complex PR matters for clients and organizations. Good PR sees the big picture and that's what this podcast is designed to do.

Our stories are always interesting, sometimes offbeat. Warning: After listening, you will come away with a new and fresh perspective.

    Napa Valley: Growing Tourism Again

    Napa Valley: Growing Tourism Again

    Linsey Gallagher, the President and CEO of Visit Napa Valley, joins Tim to talk about what she and her team are doing to bring travelers back to one of the most popular wine country destinations in the world.  Linsey has had to regroup and pivot with Napa Valley’s 400-plus vintners to help the region’s second-largest economic drivers – tourism – recover after the COVID-19 pandemic and economic shutdown.


    The state of California has its share of wine-growing regions. There is the South Central Coast, the North Central Coast, and the North Coast. But perhaps no wine-making region is more popular or more well known than Napa Valley in the North Coast Region.

    Napa Valley sits one hour north of San Francisco and is home to some of the most popular and awarded wines in the world.

    This place of distinction is the major reason why the region has a second thriving industry, which is tourism.

    In 2018, the Napa Valley welcomed 3.85 million visitors, and they spent $2.23 billion dollars.  The tourism sector is the second largest employer in Napa County. The wine industry is number one.

    Like every other industry and part of the country, Napa Valley suffered the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown. In fact, the tourism sector was hit particularly hard as millions stayed home.

    Airports, highways, hotel rooms and hotel lobbies – all empty or at minimal capacity for months. And the challenge for tourist destinations only begins when the lockdown ends.

    Not only do destinations have to make up for lost time and lost revenue, but they have a lot of work to do to rebuild confidence among travelers and re-establish themselves as attractive places to go.

    Linsey Gallagher is discusses how she is working with Napa Valley Vintners to launch a three-stage marketing campaign to mirror the recovery process and to help restore Napa Valley’s economy.  The interview is wide-ranging, from how Napa Valley became a global destination for wine tourism and plans for the future.

    About Visit Napa Valley

    Visit Napa Valley is the official destination management organization for the Napa Valley, with a mission to promote, protect and enhance the region’s position as an attractive travel destination and enhance its public image as a dynamic place to visit, live and work.

    The Napa Valley consists of the following distinctive towns, including, from north to south, Calistoga, St. Helena, Rutherford/Oakville, Yountville, the city of Napa, American Canyon, and the outdoor recreation area of Lake Berryessa. 


    * Visit Napa Valley (website)

    * California Wine Institute (website)

    * Diurnal Shift Definition, Wine Spectator

    * Discover California Wines (website)

    * California Wine Regions, Wine Enthusiast

    About this Episode's Guest Linsey Gallagher

    Linsey Gallagher is the president and CEO of Visit Napa Valley, the official destination management organization for the Napa Valley,  with a continued mission to promote, protect, and enhance the region’s position as an attractive travel destination while also enhancing its public image as a dynamic place to visit, live and work.

    Linsey joined Visit Napa Valley (VNV) in February 2019 after serving 10 years as Vice President, International Marketing for the California Wine Institute.

    • 48 min
    The U.S. Capitol: Home to the American Story

    The U.S. Capitol: Home to the American Story

    Professor Greg Jackson joins Tim to tell the American story through the story of a building, the U.S. Capitol. From the day the cornerstone is laid by George Washington in 1793 through today, the Capitol building is the anchor for the American republic. Greg walks us through the Capitol’s halls and tells us the stories they can’t tell for themselves. This is our special annual Independence Day episode. Have a Happy July 4th!


    On September 18, 1793, George Washington laid the U.S. Capitol cornerstone at the southeast corner of its foundation to mark the building of the nation's most symbolically important building. President Washington and his volunteer artillery from Alexandria crossed the Potomac River and joined with troops from Virginia, Maryland, and the Federal City (current day Washington, D.C.).

    They formed a parade and everyone followed. There were speeches, a barbecue and much celebrating well into the evening. Greg explains what was on their minds on this first day where the new republic had a permanent home.


    The Capitol houses the U.S. Congress—the House of Representatives and the Senate.

    Dr. William Thornton won a competition to become the initial designer of the building. He placed a smaller domed rotunda between the Senate (north) and House (south) wings.

    The building’s architects were many: Stephen Hallet (1793), George Hadfield (1795-1798), James Hoban (1798-1802), Benjamin Henry Latrobe (1803-1818), and Charles Bulfinch (1818-1826).

    The War of 1812 interrupted construction and nearly burned it to the ground, but rain prevented total destruction at the hands of British troops.

    By 1850, the growing United States warranted expansion of the U.S. Capitol building and so, construction began and continued throughout the Civil War. Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated under a partially completed dome.

    The U.S. Supreme Court was once housed in the Capitol building, as was the Library of Congress. Eventually, they would move to their own buildings while the Capitol would evolve.

    Greg tells the story behind the crypt in the center of the building, the old House of Representatives chamber, Statuary Hall, and some of the great stories and lore of the building itself.


    * History that Doesn't Suck Podcast

    * Professor Gregory Jackson, Utah Valley University

    * UVU Assistant Professor Teaches History to Thousands, UVU Website

    * U.S. Capitol Visitor Center

    * About the U.S. Capitol Building, Architect of the Capitol (AOC) website

    * Image Gallery, AOC website

    * National Statuary Hall Collection, AOC website

    * Apotheosis of Washington, AOC website

    * The Attempted Assassination of Andrew Jackson, Smithsonian Magazine

    About this Episode’s Guest Professor Greg Jackson

    Dr. Greg Jackson is Assistant Professor of Integrated Studies and Assistant Director of National Security Studies at Utah Valley University.

    Research & Creative Works

    Dr. Jackson is the creator, host, head writer,

    • 1 hr 3 min
    After COVID-19: Get Ready to Play

    After COVID-19: Get Ready to Play

    UPMC Sports medicine physician Dr. Jeanne Doperak joins Tim to talk about how athletes of all ages can get back to playing sports again in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. She’s one of the people behind the new UPMC Youth Sports Playbook designed to help get young athletes back to competition. In this episode, Dr. Doperak details the thinking behind that playbook, and how to get your young athlete back into sports with confidence, with the right approach and the right mindset.


    In 2015, the Aspen Institute published a report on youth sports. They looked at youth sports participation among boys and girls from 6 to 12 years old. They found that across the country, roughly 5.5 million kids participate in organized basketball leagues. 5 million play in soccer leagues. 731,000 participate in track and field. 4.5 million kids play in baseball leagues. 1.3 million kids play organized football. And 862,000 kids play in softball leagues.

    The National Federation of State High School Associations, reports that roughly 8 million teenagers compete in high school sports.

    And the NCAA reports that 460,000 men and women compete in NCAA collegiate sports.

    That’s a total of 26.4 million young athletes in the United States. That’s 26.4 million young athletes who had to stop training, practicing and competing a few months ago when the COVID-19 pandemic changed life in America as we know it.

    Gyms went dark, courts and fields went empty. Locker rooms….locked.

    Now, as the country moves forward with a gradual reopening process, sports are set to resume at all levels. This may create some concern on the parts of athletes, their families, coaches, teachers, school administrators and athletic directors.

    It was with this in mind, that UPMC Sports Medicine in Pittsburgh assembled a multidisciplinary team of clinicians and researchers to create guidelines for the people in charge of creating a safe environment for youth athletes as they start to return to play.

    Dr. Jeanne Doperak is a UPMC primary care sports medicine physician. She led the development of the UPMC Youth Sports Playbook for a return to sports.


    * Dr. Jeanne Doperak, UPMC Sports Medicine

    * UPMC Designs Playbook for Return to Youth Sports, UPMC

    * Go to the UPMC Youth Sports Playbook Here

    * Returning to Sports and Activities, CDC

    * State of Youth Sports, Aspen Institute 2015

    * Participation in High School Sports Registers First Decline in 30 Years, NFHS

    * Estimated Probability of Competing in College Athletics, NCAA

    About this Episode’s Guest Dr. Jeanne Doperak

    Jeanne Doperak, DO, a primary care sports medicine physician, sees patients at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex and UPMC’s Monroeville satellite office. She is a general physician for the athletic departments of both the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, assistant team physician for the Pitt Panthers men’s basketball team, head team physician for St. Vincent College, and a medical consultant to Latrobe High School.

    • 43 min
    John Scofield: A Jazz Master

    John Scofield: A Jazz Master

    Jazz legend John Scofield joins Tim to talk about his life as one of the world’s leading jazz guitarists. He talks about the creative process, performing, and how his music has defied labeling. John is a true jazz innovator.


    John Scofield and his guitar have shaped the jazz landscape since the late 1970s. He’s considered one of the “big three” of the late 20th century jazz guitarists. The other two are Pat Metheny and Bill Frisell.

    The jazz world has had some trouble when it has tried to pigeon-hole John’s style. It’s jazz, but it’s contemporary jazz, its’ post-bop, with some elements of fusion, funk and rhythm and blues.

    It can be soft and slow at times, but it is often hard-charging and once he gets started, John will take on a ride.

    John is considered a jazz improviser. He was born in Ohio and raised in Connecticut. John Scofield took up the guitar when he was 11 years old.

    He says he was inspired by rock and blues players.

    He went to Berklee College of Music in Boston. He then recorded with Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker. After that he went on to perform with the likes of Billy Cobham and George Duke, Charles Mingus, and he joined the Gary Burton quartet.

    He’s recorded more than 40 albums as a leader with people like Pat Metheny, Charlie Haden, Eddie Harris, Martin & Wood, Bill Frisell and Brad Mehldau.

    He’s recorded with Tony Williams, Jim Hall, Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock, Joe Henderson, Dave Holland among others.

    When it comes to musical style, John defies labels by keeping an open musical mind.

    In this episode, John talks about the influences of blues, rock and other genres on his work and on jazz in general. He talks about his inspirations and how he still considers his abilities a work in progress.


    Our thanks to John Scofield for providing his music and photos for use in our episode and on this site. The music you hear in this episode is John's new album with Steve Swallow called Swallow Tales. Additional thanks to Don Lucoff and Maureen McFadden of DL Media, Inc., for all of their work in arranging this interview and providing the necessary support. Thanks!


    * JohnScofield.com

    * John Scofield: Will the real John Scofield please stand up, JazzTimes

    * Ibanez Guitars: John Scofield

    About this Episode's Guest John Scofield

    John Scofield’s guitar work has influenced jazz since the late 70’s and is going strong today. Possessor of a very distinctive sound and stylistic diversity, Scofield is a masterful jazz improviser whose music generally falls somewhere between post-bop, funk edged jazz, and R & B.

    Born in Ohio and raised in suburban Connecticut, Scofield took up the guitar at age 11, inspired by both rock and blues players. He attended Berklee College of Music in Boston. After a debut recording with Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker, Scofield was a member of the Billy Cobham-George Duke band for two years. In 1977 he recorded with Charles Mingus, and joined the Gary Burton quartet. He began his international career as a bandleader and recording artist in 1978. From 1982–1985, Scofield toured and recorded with Miles Davis. His Davis stint placed him firmly in the foreground of jazz consciousness as a player and composer.

    Since that time he has prominently led his own groups in the international Jazz scene, recorded over 30 albums as a leader (many already classics) including collaborations with contemporary favori...

    • 38 min
    Podcast Gumbo: Why We Listen

    Podcast Gumbo: Why We Listen

    Paul Kondo joins Tim to talk about why we listen to podcasts, what’s the appeal, and some of the podcasts he likes. Paul is the editor of the leading podcasting industry newsletter for listeners called Podcast Gumbo, and new in 2020, the Podcast Gumbo Podcast.  Podcasting has shaped the way we think, but there's something more to it. In this episode we explore the appeal of podcasting.


    According to an industry web site that tracks podcasting called MyPodcastReviews.com, there are 1.1 million valid podcasts now in existence. Those shows represent a total of 29.8 million podcast episodes you could listen to.

    At current rates, nearly 10,000 new podcasts are added every day. And only about 500 podcasts are removed every day.

    Just over half of all of those 1 million podcasts – 500,000 – are considered active. That means that 500,000 podcasts are actively creating and dropping new episodes.

    Now, before we get too excited, keep in mind that of all of the podcasts that exist, only 43 percent have gone as far as to produce more than 10 episodes each. That means that more than half of the podcasts that exist won’t get past the 10th episode.

    If you’re a podcast listener, chances are you do it while you work out, or while your working in your home office, or while you’re driving, or doing chores around the house, or walking or hiking, or commuting.

    You take your favorite podcasts with you wherever you go.

    So, what are you listening to?

    Another website called PodcastInsights.com has some interesting statistics of its own. Consider these numbers from Nielsen Q3 2017 Podcast Insights.

    Fifty percent of all households are podcast fans. That’s 60 million homes.  Roughly half of all podcast listeners are men and the other half are women. Listenership is even across men and women.

    The largest demographic for podcasts is people from 35 to 54 years old. The second-largest listener group are younger – 12-34 years old. Those 55 years old and older are the third-largest group of podcast listeners.

    Half of all listening is done at home. 22 percent is done while driving. The media platform of choice is a smart phone. Podcast listeners listen to about 7 different shows per week. Eighty percent listen to all or most of each episode. This is unusual when compared to most other media you consume on a computer or smart phone.

    Some of the top genres are comedy, education, news, true crime, history and self-help. But the truth is, if there is something that interests you, there probably is a podcast about that.

    The podcast industry was in the middle of its dramatic growth in April of 2018.  That was when our own podcast was one month old. It was also when Paul Kondo decided to turn his interest in podcasts into a thing.

    That thing was to help people find good podcasts to listen to. That was when Paul created a newsletter called Podcast Gumbo.


    * Podcast Gumbo

    * PaulKondo.com

    * MyPodcastReviews (Podcast Statistics)

    * Podcast Insights (Podcast Statistics)

    Podcasts Mentioned in this Episode

    * Criminal

    * Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me

    * In the Dark

    * This American Life

    • 45 min
    Post-pandemic Mindset: Getting Your Life Back on Track

    Post-pandemic Mindset: Getting Your Life Back on Track

    New York Times best-selling author and professional organizer Julie Morgenstern joins Tim to talk about how to get your life back on track thanks to the right mindset and a system for getting organizing your time and space. She’s advised a wide range of people on how to get organized, from top business executives and celebrities to people just like us. In this episode, Julie talks about how to re-emerge from this pandemic a more organized person, ready to take on a new chapter in your life.



    The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics measures such things as productivity. It’s a key economic indicator that reveals a lot about the health of our economy.

    Now that we’re in the middle of a pandemic-related economic slump, people are looking for ways to be productive – at home, working from home, at a workplace, or in too many cases, they are trying to be productive in looking for work.

    No matter who you are, there’s a good chance you feel you could be more organized. So, how do you get there? How do you find a way to get organized so you are better prepared to take on the challenges that life throws at you?

    We often hear about the need for better time management, or the need for everything in our house or workplace to have a place.


    * Julie Morgenstern

    • 37 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
70 Ratings

70 Ratings

Ya Jagoff ,

Love the podcast!

Always interesting... and fun! Thx! John from YaJagoff Podcast!

Sean Faust ,

Detailed and interesting!

Tim is one of those host that I just want to keep listening to!

I chose to listen to the episodes that awakened my nostalgic inner child and I was pretty much hooked on each of the 4 episodes that I just listened to today!

Great show! Definitely recommended!

Goalie 54 ,

Professional and Engaging!

This podcast is very well produced and Tim draws you in on topics you may not have even known you would be interested in hearing. Definitely start with a topic you would like, and I’m pretty sure you’ll start listening to some topics you are unfamiliar with. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

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