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Briefy >>Podcast Reviews Get “Thumbs Up”

Akron Beacon Journal critic George Thomas, left, and Chris Hewitt, critic at the St. Paul Pioneer Press
Akron Beacon Journal critic George Thomas, left, and Chris Hewitt, critic at the St. Paul Pioneer Press, may not always see eye-to-eye on movies, but sthey agree that Double Feature, an online podcast of their reviews, is a hit with readers.
Left Photo by ED SUBA JR./Akron Beacon Journal
Right Photo by JOE ROSSI/St. Paul Pioneer Press

Call it the high-tech version of Siskel & Ebert. Akron Beacon Journal movie critic George Thomas and Chris Hewitt, his counterpart at the St. Paul Pioneer Press, have teamed up for Double Feature – a podcast in which they discuss current releases.

Thomas credits Jim Arnold, producer at Ohio.com, for the idea.

Like the television show that inspired the idea, the fun comes from listening to the different styles, Thomas says. “Chris and I try to make it sound as if we’re in a bar talking over a beer,” he said. “There are opportunities to get snarky and opportunities to have fun.”

Hewitt said the duo is just hitting its stride with the podcasts, which began in December. “We had to get used to the technology, which is basically a conference call over the Internet. We decide that each review would be two to three minutes.”

During the Oscars, the podcast expanded to include a roundtable discussion of the nominees by seven Knight Ridder critics. By mid-February, the Oscars podcasts had been downloaded 1,000 times. Movie review podcasts downloads for the month of March were 5,888.

The duo skips any variation on the famed “thumbs up/thumbs down,” however. “We didn’t want to go for complete theft,” Thomas joked.

To hear Thomas and Hewitt’s podcast, go to http://www.ohio.com/mld/ohio/entertainment/movies/13392389.htm

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