Former WQED producer hosts live podcast event

Written By Jake Dabkowski, Editor-In-Chief

The newly reopened Center for Media Innovation (CMI) hosted Pittsburgh-based documentarian Rick Sebak for a live podcast. Sebak was interviewed by students Andrew Bensch, Samantha Hindman, and Natalia Hillen. 


For Bensch, meeting Sebak had been a long-term goal.


“Meeting Rick Sebak was something that I had had on my bucket list for a while,” Bensch wrote to The Globe. “It was an honor to get to interview him. I’ve watched several of his documentaries and heard lots of stories about him. He was as nice as everyone said he was, if not more so.”


Hindman seconded that Sebak was nice and was able to hold a conversation with ease.


“Rick had a very lovely demeanor, and he was great to speak with,” Hindman wrote to The Globe. “It’s easy to tell why he’s such a popular figure here in Pittsburgh. His storytelling was very engaging, and he seemed very passionate about what he does.”


Bensch agrees with Hindman on Sebak’s storytelling.


“He is an amazing interviewee,” Bensch wrote. “You ask him a question and he will effortlessly go into a story and keep you interested the whole time.”


Hindman was not originally supposed to be a part of the interview but stepped in at the last moment.


“I was initially not meant to interview him, but since one of the interviewers had a prior commitment, I stepped in,” Hindman wrote. “I’m glad I did, too, because it was an excellent time.”


Hillen reflected on the interview process to The Globe.


“Beforehand, we each prepared three potential questions that we wanted to ask him,” Hillen wrote. “Some things we asked about were how he got involved in broadcasting, his famous documentaries and work, and what advice he had for college students starting their careers.”


She feels that the interview helped her professionally in “many ways.”


“This interview helped me professionally in many ways because not only was I able to build my interviewing skills asking the successful Pittsburgh producer and broadcast Rick Sebak, but I was also able to work with my student peers,” Hillen wrote. “As a team, we were able to conduct an informative and entertaining interview.”


The event was one of several events celebrating the grand re-opening of the Center for Media Innovation, which recently moved from its original space in the YWCA building to the lobby of West Penn.


“I love working with the CMI no matter what the event is, so I was glad to be a part of the podcast,” Bensch wrote. Bensch was selected to interview Sebak because he currently serves as the General Manager of WPPJ Radio, Point Park’s student-run radio station.


The podcast was broadcast live and is expected to be made available online, according to Hindman.