Top of the World Podcast: WTC developer Larry Silverstein reflects on the future of office space in a post-pandemic world

The 11-part series airs Tuesdays at 7pm EST through Sept. 11th

By Connell Oberman

Design and architecture team review the World Trade Center masterplan with Daniel Liebsekind.

In July 2001, Larry Silverstein, chairman of Silverstein Properties, purchased a 99-year lease on the World Trade Center towers worth $3.2 billion in what was the most expensive real estate transaction in the history of New York at the time. Little did he know, the newly acquired buildings would be decimated in the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil only 6 weeks later on September 11th. In the wake of the disaster, Silverstein was faced with the near-impossible task of rebuilding. Despite insurance companies’ attempts to buy him out, Silverstein remained steadfast in his commitment to restoring the heart of lower Manhattan. “I’m a New Yorker. I have an obligation to rebuild,” Silverstein recalls in the first episode of the 11-part series Top of the World: Lessons from Rebuilding the World Trade Center. “That’s my job. I’ll rebuild it.”

Larry Silverstein looking out the window of the new 7 WTC building.

20 years and 4 and half towers later, Silverstein and New York City face a new challenge: the COVID-19 pandemic. Leading up to the initial outbreak, the towers’ office spaces were fully leased to high-profile tenants such as Uber and Spotify. However, as the deadly virus swept through the country, workers swiftly transitioned to a work-from-home model in accordance with quarantine protocols, leaving the newly erected towers empty. 

Nevertheless, Mr. Silverstein is confident that the importance of in-person office spaces, especially those in the new World Trade Center, will endure. “There’s nothing like getting together with your colleagues,” Silverstein tells Top of the World host and Silverstein Properties Chief Marketing Officer Dara McQuillan. “That’s irreplaceable.” Having lived through national crises such as 9/11 and the COVID-19 pandemic, 90-year-old Mr. Silverstein believes firmly in New York’s resiliency. “The one thing I’ve learned is that you never bet against New York,” he says. Check out the entire conversation on “The Developer: Never Bet Against New York,” the first episode of Muddhouse Media’s new series Top of the World: Lessons from Rebuilding the World Trade Center, available on SiriusXM Business Radio. 

The conversation about the future of in-person work continues on the next episode, “The Master Plan”, with World Trade Center master architect Daniel Libeskind. Mr. Libeskind discusses his revolutionary vision for the new World Trade Center and how it  will shape New York’s future in a post-pandemic world. Stay tuned each week for new episodes focusing on different facets of the rebuilding process featuring exciting guests such as New York Mayor

Michael Bloomberg, CBRE CEO Mary Ann Tighe, WTC designers Sean Johnson, Carlos Valverde, Duan He, Scott Thompson and Michiko Ashida, New York residents Jessica Lappin and Catherine McVay Hughes, author Judith Dupré, photographer Joe Woolhead, producer Mike Marcucci, President of the Perelman Center for Performing Arts Leslie Koch, artists Kerry Irvine, Joohee Park, Lady Aiko, Risa Boogie and Cristina Martinez, Silverstein Properties CEO Marty Burger, Managing Partner for Brookfield Maria Masi, Founder of Dabar Development Partners Dawanna Williams, and WTC 5 architect Rob Whitlock. 

A new episode airs every Tuesday until September 11th on Sirius XM channel 132. All episodes will be available to stream on Pandora and Stitcher Premium on September 6th. Click the link here for exclusive behind-the-scenes photos and check out the teaser below!

Everything You Need to Know About The Thomas Randolph Case and the New Killer Genes Podcast

By Alex Sayfie

How did Thomas Randolph earn the nickname the “Black Widower”? Why are two Emmy-nominated journalists, Melissa McCarty and Kelly McLear, taking on podcast story-telling? And the biggest question of them all, is Thomas Randolph guilty or innocent? Here’s everything you need to know about the Thomas Randolph case and the new, Killer Genes podcast.

Melissa McCarty and Kelly McLear have 30 combined years of experience in investigative journalism and have been nominated for an Emmy twice throughout their careers, working on nationally syndicated true crime television series “Crime Watch Daily,” “Sex & Murder,” and “Accident, Suicide or Murder.” Their creativity and expertise in true crime story-telling will thrive in podcast form. “Melissa and I wanted to move to podcasts because we have more freedoms in telling a story. We can take warranted risks, diving much much deeper”, says Kelly McLear.

 The first full season of Killer Genes will release in early 2021, but the first two episodes are currently available on all platforms. The debut episodes feature exclusive interviews with convicted-murderer, Thomas Randolph in his first time speaking from death row. While Randolph claims he is innocent, the interview reveals his full account of what happened on that fateful night in May 2008 and his reaction to the Nevada Supreme Court granting him a new trial.

 Randolph has earned the nickname the “Black Widower,” because four of his six wives were dead by the time of his 2017 conviction for the murder of wife number six, and two of his wives died of gunshot wounds. In 1986, Randolph went on trial for the murder of wife number two, but was acquitted of the charges by a Utah jury in 1989. In 2008, Randolph was tried and found guilty for the murders of his sixth wife Sharon, and his 38-year-old handyman, Mike Miller, who prosecutors believe was Randolph’s hired hitman. After eventually being found guilty in 2017—nearly nine full years since the murders—he spent the following three and a half years on death row until the Nevada Supreme Court reversed his convictions in November 2020.

 As for the burning question, is Randolph innocent or guilty?

That depends entirely on who you listen to. Randolph’s account will give you one answer and listening to Sharon’s daughter, Colleen, it is a story much different. The only way to know for sure is to listen to Killer Genes and decide for yourself.

 

Top Ten Reasons to Listen to the new Being American with Deval Patrick Podcast on MuddHouse Media

By Alex Sayfie

October 21st, 2020

“In these discordant and divisive times, a lot of us feel like we don’t recognize America anymore. We come from every place on earth and every station in life, and yet we openly demean each other if we live or think differently. It isn’t clear what unites us, what makes us American.”

Being American with Deval Patrick is the newest addition to the diverse podcast network at MuddHouse Media. As we lead up to one of the most significant elections in American history, Former Governor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick will lead a conversation about what it means to be American in 2020. As our country finds itself in the midst of social, economic, environmental, and health crises, Deval and his guests will break down these issues and delve into our nation’s attitudes and ideals on a deeper level.

“A lot of people are asking in a sense, whether America is who she says she is?” asks Deval Patrick.

Here are the top 10 reasons to listen to Being American with Deval Patrick:

1

As a former 2020 U.S. Presidential candidate, Deval Patrick brings a unique perspective to the historic race as we wind down into the final weeks before November 3rd.

2

As an American who has achieved success and has significant experience in both the private and public sectors, Deval Patrick has his finger on the pulse of many different walks of life in our country.

3

2020 will go down as one of the most eventful, bizarre years in American history. Listen to this podcast to learn what has made this year extraordinarily different, and where we go from here.

4

Being American with Deval Patrick has an incredible slate of special guests lined up, including elected officials, activists, celebrities, and more. Here are a few guests on tap for season one: singer James Taylor, former NY Times writer Anand Giridharadas, American-Eritrean long-distance runner Meb Keflezighi, international lawyer Mehrsa Baradaran, candidate for U.S. Representative Adair Ford Boroughs, U.S. Representative from Kentucky Charles Booker, and many more.

5

This unique podcast will have an open dialogue with the audience via shared stories and comments from listeners on beingamericanpodcast.com.

6

Given the polarization and division in our country, this moment calls for unifying voices, and Deval Patrick is well-equipped to serve as one of them.

7

We need forums where Americans can share their common experiences and identify with one another through shared ideals and values.

8

Deval Patrick and his guests will bring varying perspectives that will shed light on how and why our country is in its current state.

9

Listen to gain an understanding of where our country is but more importantly, to find hope for where we can go and what we can achieve from here.

10

Through this podcast and forum of open conversations, we will heal the divide in our country, and get America back to being “who she says she is.”

Holding Court Podcast on the U.S. Open: Sports in the Bubble

By Grant Vanzura

Across the sports world, drastic changes have been implemented to ensure the safety of the players, coaches, and commentators. The NBA popularized the use of a bubble to restrict athletes from coming into contact with anyone who may have contracted COVID-19. So far, the NBA’s bubble experience has been successful which led to the 2020 U.S. Open implementing similar protocols for their players. In MuddHouse Media’s host Patrick McEnroe’s Podcast: Holding Court, he speaks about some of the differences that players and others involved faced this year versus past tournaments. So what exactly were these differences?

In previous years, U.S. Open participants spent much of their time in Manhattan where there are countless activities to do in the big city. Now that players needed to stay in the bubble, they needed to find other sources of entertainment. Recognizing this, the organizers of the tournament set up a big screen in the courtyard where players could compete in a trivia night or watch other sports such as the NBA and NHL playoffs. They also provided a game room in the bubble where foosball was a main source of entertainment for the players. 

The new bubble environment also caused some other changes in the matchplay during the tournament. The two biggest stories involved Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka. Osaka made headlines early on for her willingness to withdraw from the tournament due to social justice reasons. The organizers delayed the matches to allow Osaka to continue to compete. She ultimately would end up winning the Women’s Singles Tournament. Djokovic who is the World’s overall men’s number one player was disqualified from the tournament due to hitting a linesperson accidentally out of frustration. He has apologized and the situation resulted in an open field for the men’s championship.  

Another major change for this year’s U.S. Open tournament was the limiting of fans due to Covid-19 restrictions. McEnroe speaks about how this can negatively affect players during their matches. Some players specifically feed off the energy that the crowd gives them to gain momentum in their matches. Without the fans, preparation and experience could provide players with the edge required to win the match. McEnroe talks about the Andrey Rublev vs Daniil Medvedev match which resulted in Medvedev winning the match in a 7-5 tie-breaker. The two Russian competitors had previous experience playing each other in which Medvedev got the edge which McEnroe attributes to his win in this U.S. Open. Medvedev seemed to have the confidence at the end of the match to overcome the upset bid by Rublev. U.S. Women’s Tennis star Serena Williams may also have been affected by the changes to the format of the tournament. Fueled by her large fanbase, Williams usually has crowd support to give her the confidence and energy to dispel her opponents. However, in this year’s tournament, the lack of fans may have made her opponent Victoria Azarenka more comfortable and ultimately defeat Serena in the semi-final.   

Overall, despite the fact the fans and participants had to perform and be contained in the Bubble, the overwhelming opinion was that the tournament still brought fans the usual excitement and that the USTA did a wonderful job not only ensuring the safety of the participants but facilitating excellent matchplay. And Muddhouse Media’s host of the Holding Court Podcast series Patrick McEnroe was right there in the Bubble providing expert commentary for ESPN throughout.  Check out his podcasts on the U.S. Open to hear more!

Top Ten Reasons to Listen to the new Saints, Sinners and Serial Killers Podcast on Muddhouse Media

By Grant Vanzura

Saints, Sinners and Serial Killers, a new crime podcast hosted by authors Dave Wedge and Casey Sherman, focuses on exclusive information about numerous notorious criminals. The podcast kicks off with a two-part episode featuring Whitey Bulger’s story and the FBI’s quest to bring him to justice. Wedge and Sherman disclose Bulger’s story, drawing details from their new novel: Hunting Whitey. The Boston reporters focus on exclusive stories and interviews that unmask many details of the chase and the killing of Bulger. The acclaimed authors paint a more complete picture of the criminal’s mind as well as that of law enforcement tirelessly working on the arrest. Saints, Sinners, and Serial Killers invites listeners to join Wedge and Sherman on their riveting journey to discover the real truth about one of America’s most dangerous and most fascinating former mobsters.

1

The hosts, Dave Wedge and Casey Sherman are both New York Times bestselling authors based in Boston, the site where much of the Whitey Bulger saga takes place. 

2

The show features a variety of unreleased, exclusive interviews and investigative reportage on the complete story and inside scoops about Whitey Bulger.

3

While the majority of media coverage on Bulger focuses on his crimes, Sherman and Wedge capture the riveting details of his life on the run and experiences in prison.

4

Hear chilling audio of Whitey Bulger himself sharing his thoughts on being captured.

5

Discover the critical details that allowed for the police to trail the breadcrumbs of evidence left by Bulger.

6

Listen to an exclusive interview of Bulger’s cellmate and friend describing an assassination attempt on Bulger’s life.

7

The hosts interview FBI special agent Scott Garriola; the man who made the arrest of Bulger and his confidant.

8

The hosts lived in the Boston area during Bulger’s criminal peak and can speak of their own memories and discoveries while investigating the case as it happened.

Dave Wedge and Casey Sherman

9

Find out insider information from the daughter of the man accused of killing Whitey Bulger.

10

Discover chilling details about the corruption of the FBI during the chase for Whitey Bulger.

Tanya’s Table Podcast: An Overview

By Deana Korsunsky

What is food? It fuels us, drives us, and brings us together. Tanya’s Table host Tanya Holland is no stranger to this magic of cooking and feeding; the author, public speaker, executive chef and owner of Oakland’s Brown Sugar Kitchen has over twenty years experience under her belt—her apron, that is! 

Tanya Holland is an award-winning chef, author, and public speaker

Holland’s cooking specialty and passion is soul food, influenced both by traditional southern cuisine and her French training at La Varenne École De Cuisine. Holland has built her skills over the years, traveling from New York City, to France, to Massachusetts, and to her current homebase of California. She has trained under numerous experts such as Bobby Flay, served as president of the prestigious Les Dames d’Escoffier San Francisco chapter, and even received the honor of having the date June 5th be named “Tanya Holland Day” in Oakland, CA in recognition of her work for the community. You may also recognize Holland from season 15 on Bravo’s Top Chef, or from Food Network’s Melting Pot

While Holland has pioneered numerous projects—including the release of her latest cookbook, Brown Sugar Kitchen: Down-Home Recipes from Sweet West Oakland—the release of her podcast Tanya’s Table brings her seasoned skills and insight on the food-related topics directly to listeners’ ears. Each forty-five minute episode welcomes listeners to learn about food, but also about the nature of human life itself. Listen as Holland discusses travel, social awareness, self-help, work/life balance, challenges and triumphs, and more. 

Holland also brings on a variety of guests, including musical artist Questlove, Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson, comedian and actress Aisha Tyler, and many more. Each episode delves into each guest’s personal take on food, design, or style. Many guests have direct connections to the food industry, whether it be cooking experience, food activism, restaurant founding, or merely being culinary enthusiasts. Others, however, are directors, authors, and even former world series champions! The common denominator? Every guest has a penchant for creative expression and storytelling. Listen as Tanya Holland speaks to these individuals, entertaining and educating listeners with delightful conversation.

Tanya’s Table offers perspectives on food and culture that no doubt rarely cross listeners’ minds, shedding light on the political, artistic, and social implications of food. Can food be gendered? How can it be therapeutic? How has the industry changed with the rise of a pandemic? With the insight of her numerous guests, Tanya Holland answers all of these questions. So, pull up a chair, and join us at Tanya’s Table, where there’s always great food and great conversation!

Killer Genes: Q&A with Kelly McLear and Melissa McCarty

By Deana Korsunsky

What inspired each of you to be investigative journalists?

Kelly: My passion for crime started in the summer of 1996. I took a summer job with the Connecticut State Police. I was looking at crime scene photos, reviewing case reports and field notes, and that’s really where it started for me. Over the years, I’ve gotten really close with the families and loved ones of those left behind. I can’t begin to imagine what it’s like being a parent, a loved one, a brother or a sister and what they’re going through, particularly with unsolved cases. Anything that I can do for them is what keeps me going every day. 

Melissa: My story’s a little different. When I was growing up, I had two friends of mine, including my brother’s best friend, murdered. I always loved writing and storytelling, but then the narrative shifted to “I feel like a victim and I want the power to seek justice and help people suffering like I have in the past.” I started off as a local newscaster for over a decade, and it was in telling those daily stories that I thought, “wow, there’s an impact. There’s an audience—there are people listening!” I know what goes through the minds of criminals because I grew up with them, and I know what it feels like to grieve someone you love that was murdered.  I feel like I can teeter on a really good line in the middle to tell a good story and have empathy and understanding of both. That’s just been my passion. 

How did you two connect and get the idea to start a podcast?

Kelly: In 2015, both Melissa and I worked for Crime Watch Daily, which was a nationally syndicated daily crime series. I was a story producer, and Melissa was one of our field reporters for it. And, you know, we met on a story!

Melissa: We had reporters and producers pair up, always on the road. [Kelly] was always my favorite. She’s the most honest, the most sharp, the coolest. We met at a work party, and you know, I just loved her vibe. I was kicking around this concept, and I just said there’s only one person I would partner with, and it was her! So I just took a shot. I was like, “would you do this thing with me?”

Two-time Emmy nominated investigative journalists Kelly McLear and Melissa McCarty take deep dives each week into unsolved murders, missing persons and adjudicated murder cases.

How do you plan what episodes will be about? What’s your overall writing/recording process?

Kelly: It has to be a case that both Melissa and I are passionate about. Whether it’s a solved case, or a wrongful conviction, or an unsolved murder, we have to feel a connection to the case and to the family. We have to have that trust from family and from law enforcement. Like Melissa said, we’re not just reading a script. We are ingrained in it as much as those that it happened to. You lose sleep! You start going down rabbit holes, you become part of it. I hope the audience can feel that. 

Melissa: It’s so funny you said that, because I dream about these people. I’m so deep in it and their lives! Talking to them for so many hours and days and weeks and years, when I’m actually writing it, I’m dreaming about them at night. 

What, in your opinion, makes Killer Genes stand out particularly from other crime podcasts?

Kelly: First and foremost, I think Melissa and my track records, resumes, our history in the true crime space, experience, contacts, storytelling, empathy, respect for the victims, and respect for law enforcement make us stand out. We want to take you on a journey; we want to give you a complete 360 degree view of a case from all aspects. So you’re not just going to hear me and Melissa talking. We’re going to be asking the hard questions and the sad questions. It’s not just a host reading a script about a case that just hit the local or national news. We bring you deep into it. 

Melissa: What also separates us from others is you will not find Kelly and I joking. You will not find us chatting about our day before we go into a traumatizing loss that a loved one had. We’re going to start off with that loved one talking about how their world has literally frozen in time, because of the trauma and the loss. We’re bringing you access. You want to know why a person kills? Let’s ask that killer. We’ve got access. This isn’t a joke to us. 

What do you hope listeners will take away from listening to Killer Genes?

Kelly: What I hope that people take away from listening to Killer Genes is first of all, the respect for law enforcement investigators, prosecuting attorneys, and defense attorneys that work so hard—whether it is defending a victim or defending the accused. I also think that you can never lose sight of the victims’ families and friends that have been left behind. I always say, “there’s no such thing as justice.” You know what justice would have been? This never happening in the first place. All you can be provided is answers. I also think maybe someone listening who has gone through a similar situation can think, “okay, I’m not the only one going through this.” 

Melissa: I would just add that I truly believe that the pulse of humanity, and what helps us thrive is connecting and relating. It’s this universal emotion during all the tough times. You don’t have to be the victim of a crime to learn from a story we tell you. Some of these cases were also solved by family members. That’s the fascinating resilience of humans. It is just a powerful emotion of connecting that will bring in people to listen to someone else’s story.  

Guest Adam Sandler discusses sports, music, and more on Greek God of Hops with former Boston Red Sox player, Kevin Youkilis

By Grant Vanzura

In this episode of Greek God of Hops, Kevin Youkilis and Adam Sandler discuss their pasts and how their passions came to be in their respective fields. Their paths intertwined when Youkilis first met Sandler on a movie set through a friend. Sandler admired Youkilis during his stint on the Boston Red Sox and would continue to root for him despite playing for the rival New York Yankees.

Kevin Youkilis at bat
Youkilis has dedicated much of his life to playing baseball and training to become the best player he could be.

Throughout the podcast, Youkilis and Sandler talk about their experience as fans of baseball and sports in general. As a former MLB baseball player, Youkilis has dedicated much of his life to playing baseball and training to become the best player he could be. He spent nine years in the MLB (three time all-star) and to this day finds watching and learning about his sport exciting and fascinating. His transition from a player to a fan has given him a greater respect for the announcing of the game as well as insight on how players might react to certain situations. Even some of the most adamant fans like Sandler have less of a natural inclination for knowing the games’ ins and outs like Youkilis. Youkilis describes his sense of the game similarly to Tony Romo (former quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys), and has garnered a reputation for knowing what play the offense will call prior to the snap of the ball. It seems as if the talent transcends to many of the game’s students; Youkilis states that he can sometime guess how the batter will hit the ball before it has been hit which goes to show just how much practice it takes to become a professional athlete.

Youkilis' tee-ball team
Youkilis (kneeling 3rd from the left) poses for a picture with his tee-ball team.

From a fanatical perspective, Sandler and Youkilis have similar interests in sports and music throughout the podcast. Sandler is an avid baseball fan but loves going to events regardless of the sport. Youkilis asks Sandler if his celebrity status has hindered his ability to go out and enjoy watching the games. Sandler replies, “I still get excited for every game and love it. Everytime I get to go it makes the day better.” The impact of sports in both Youkilis and Sandler’s lives withstood the challenges and difficulties of the public’s interest in their lives. Throughout the podcast, their appreciation for sports seems to connect them back to their younger days, summoning up both nostalgia and a shared feeling of home. 

The podcast continues, diving into Sandler’s interest in music. His father was a talented acoustic guitarist which led Sandler to learn how to play at a young age. At 12 years old, Sandler took guitar lessons and became a talented musician in his own right. Sandler reveals a not-so-widely-known fact about himself: he wrote an Album called “What’s Your Name” in 1997. His album explores his upbeat style of play and reggae influences.

Adam Sandler’s guest appearance on Greek God of Hops sheds light on the nature of sports as being a unifying factor between people—especially for Sandler and Youkilis. As a fellow Jewish icon in his respective industry, Sandler had plenty of respect for Youkilis regardless of what team he played for. Sandler told Youkilis that despite fellow Yankee fans chastising his unorthodox batting stance, he “loved it and thought it was cool and being Jewish made him love everything about him.”  Youkilis and Sandler’s chemistry flourishes throughout the course of the podcast. Sandler and Youkilis seamlessly speak regarding many of their interests (those that are predictable and those that are not),  both bringing enthusiasm and knowledge on the worlds of sports and music.