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PostHeaderIcon Stardar Report: Jennifer Hutt Is a Satellite Radio Star

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SiriusXM radio's Jennifer Koppelman Hutt

RADIO JENNY: "Jennifer Hutt is a f'ing star."

I said that sentence to Jennifer Koppelman Hutt on the last day of the last show she did for her former employer.

Jennifer was one-half of a very popular SiriusXM network satellite radio show on the Martha Stewart Living Radio channel. Her co-host was Alexis Stewart, the daughter of the one and only Martha Stewart, and "Whatever with Alexis Stewart and Jennifer Hutt" was a damn good show that took itself seriously but was never too serious. It spawned not one, but two, cable television shows and provided topics and, more importantly, an edgy viewpoint that you would be hard pressed to find anywhere else in the world of Martha Stewart Living.

Hutt's self-deprecating humor, honesty, and willingness to talk about everything – from grieving the loss of a parent, to transforming her body and spirit through healthy eating and exercise, to her obsessions with Hello Kitty and Pop-Tarts – has won her legions of loyal listeners/viewers since 2005, including me. In 2008 I interviewed them both for my column in Willamette Week. I loved this show.

But over the years, the show changed, and so did their relationship. Eventually, in 2011, Alexis left the show as well as her friendship with Jennifer—even though they had just written a book together called "Whateverland." Despite being dumped by her friend/co-host, Jennifer was more than able to hold her own as a solo act with "Whatever Jennifer." That was until the powers-that-be decided to cut her show from the MSL radio network.

Rather than fade into the airwaves, Hutt has chosen to continue her solo work, on other SiriusXM satellite stations as well via social media. Jennifer’s newest show is called “just jenny” on the Stars channel 107 (weekday 1pm eastern time/10 am pacific time); she is also co-hosting a new show on SiriusXM: “What’s Worth Watching,” with Jon Hein, radio personality and creator of the popular “Jump The Shark” website.  She’s active on social media sites including Facebook , Twitter, and YouTube where she answers people’s questions via video while exercising on the treadmill. You can find her blog posts at jenniferhutt.com.

Recently Jennifer agreed to talk to me about her new show as well as a little bit about her former one. Here's what she had to say:

What is it like to have your own radio show compared to co-hosting one like you did on your last one?

Jennifer Hutt: I am having a great time. Although i enjoyed doing the show with Alexis, the freedom of doing a show on my own can't be beat!

What would you say are the big differences between Whatever and just jenny?

With Whatever there was always the understanding that i was under Martha's umbrella. After being fired from MSO (Martha Stewart Omnimedia), and now just working for SiriusXM, I don't feel like there's anyone watching over my content or over me. I have utmost creative freedom now. I had co- control over the content of Whatever, but did always know that someone from MSO could've been listening/judging/questioning. With just jenny i feel only encouragement from SiriusXM— they want me to express myself anyway I'd like. The people at SiriusXM really understand the necessity to connect to listeners in an open and entertaining manner. Connecting with my audience means everything to me. I am attached to them. The listeners from my old show and from this one. These people have helped me through so much in my life. I think grieving the loss of my mom would've been much harder had I not had the support of and love from my fans. The crux of my show relies on the dynamic between the listener and me. We are a partnership...a back and forth between us makes my show. I love connecting with my listeners.

How much do you miss the televised talk show and do you see yourself doing television again?

TV is fun to do and it reaches so many people. So yeah, of course i miss doing it. But I don't anticipate ever giving up radio. Love it. Would be thrilled to do both.

What do you hope listeners will take away from spending an hour with you a day?

I hope my listeners take away the concept that they are not alone in any thing they may feel. We are all a little kookie and that is ok! In fact it is terrific. Laugh through the pain—that's my method of getting through tough times.

How does your blog compare to your radio show?

My blog is an extension of the show and a companion to the radio show. It is also the place where i post my "Tales From the Treadmill" videos and other videos. It adds a visual component to the things I do. Plus there's a chat feature on the site so listeners can talk to each other during the show, before and after.

How important is social media to your show and your brand?

Social media allows my conversation with the listeners to continue. It isn't just important, it is essential! I love it. I love the interaction.

On your show you talk a lot about forgiveness. So i have to ask you, what is something in your professional life that you have had a hard time forgiving?

Listen, it is no secret that I was "dumped" by my ex co-host/business partner/friend,but forgiveness comes easy to me, typically, in personal situations. I don't appreciate how corporate MSO handled my firing but again, I tend to be the forgiving kind. Feeling a little bit like I'm starting over.. That is difficult. And financially, frankly, it is unsettling. But I am thrilled SiriusXM hired me. And so thankful for all opportunities I've had both with MSO and now with Sirius. I suppose the anger I did have was lessened by the notion that without my time at MSO I wouldn't be where I am now. I believe in forgiveness.

And I believe in Jennifer Koppelman Hutt, aka, "just jenny."

 



Last Updated (Thursday, 08 March 2012 10:59)

 
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