Beverly Hills is home to scores of influential community members with hundreds of fascinating stories to share. Now for the first time, a dedicated podcast is bringing these tales to life.
The Mostly Banter podcast was launched earlier this summer by executive producer and incoming Beverly Hills High School senior Colby Gilardian in collaboration with host and long-time Beverly Hills resident Michael Moline.
Each episode features a different local personality who, over the course of a fun-filled conversation with Moline, shares their own experience with and knowledge of the city. Listeners can expect to encounter a wide range of colorful characters who each play their own part in making Beverly Hills such a one-of-a-kind community to live and work in.
“I love my community and any way we can promote Beverly Hills as a city or we can promote some of our amazing community members is a win,” Gilardian told the Courier.
The first two podcast episodes feature conversations with Beverly Hills Unified School District Board Clerk Mary Wells and former Beverly Hills Police Department Lieutenant Miles Lee. The third episode with former Mayor Les Bronte debuts Aug. 11.
For now, all interviewees are members of the Beverly Hills Rotary Club and the podcast helps support a Rotary member facing health challenges. While Gilardian and Moline are open to interviewing non-Rotary members in the future, thus far they have found no shortage of incredible stories to share within the club.
“I’ve been a member of Beverly Hills Rotary Club since 1989 and there are so many incredible civic leaders, businesspeople, merchants, doctors, just so much across the gamut,” said Moline.
Gilardian hopes to become a Rotarian one day. In the meantime, he enjoys going to meetings while working as a producer on the podcast.
“It’s been so inspiring because I’ve gotten to meet so many amazing people,” he said. “Some of their stories are just so heartfelt and beautiful.”
The idea for the podcast initially came from Moline, who previously hosted a podcast showcasing the stories of people in the sports industry and later realized that a similar format could work swimmingly in the city of Beverly Hills.
Moline met Gilardian while volunteering at Beverly Hills High School’s career day and immediately recognized the talent in the budding young producer.
Gilardian already had great experience producing audio and video as the lead producer, programmer, and director at KBEV 6, BHHS’s student-run TV station.
He was immediately sold on Moline’s podcast pitch and the two set off to create Mostly Banter. The pair already have 10 episodes in the pipeline and are excited to see where the series takes them in the future. “I don’t know where this one goes, but there’s so many people to talk to who have such great stories,” said Moline. “As long as people want to hear it, it will grow and grow and grow.”
Gilardian loves how the podcast has allowed him to connect with the history of the city he grew up in and learn from the expertise of people who have helped shape it. He has long loved the community of Beverly Hills but learned its true importance during the pandemic.
“Seeing the disconnect, and the sadness and the mental health struggles that so many people faced and then the way our city was able to come together as a small community and unite was really inspiring for me,” he said.
Gilardian’s dream is to become Mayor of Beverly Hills one day and help continue that legacy of unity and community for the next generation of residents.