We did it! All thanks to you!
One year ago, we launched our brand new venture DNR 2.0, a new and improved version of the Derek and Romaine show that so many have known and loved over the years. This was a risk for us. Would the listeners be there for us? Could we make it all work? The short answer is a resounding YES!!
When we launched on Jan 4, 2016, our site crashed from all the traffic. So many people wanted to experience the new show, we were literally overwhelmed by the support. We quickly moved to new dynamic servers to handle the increased traffic and things have been running pretty smoothly ever since.
Weekdays at 5pm ET, we do a live two hour show, streaming through our website DerekandRomaine.com. The show features the guests people love, live call-ins from listeners across North America and around the world, plus the special dynamic between Derek Hartley and Romaine Patterson that has made the show a hit for more than 13 years. Many of you have written to us and told us that the new show is even better than the original!
After the live show, the show replays continuously on an always on digital streaming channel and within minutes, the show is available for download and lives on in our Audio Archive. Our Audio Archive now has more than 400 hours of entertainment and grows every week! All available for a great low price.
In Feb 2016, we made DNR 2.0 even more available by adding support to hear the show though iTunes, iPhones and other smart phone devices. Every subscription comes with a private URL that can be added easily to most podcast apps and with a single click to iTunes, to make the show available through the Podcasts app already loaded on all iPhones. The Podcasts app allows for both streaming the always on digital channel as well as automatically downloading and organizing past shows. Hearing the new show has never been easier.
Tragedy struck in June when the Pulse Nightclub was attacked in Orlando. We went live that Sunday to provide news updates and most importantly to give our listeners an opportunity to share their feelings and experiences. We made the show available free to non-subscribers as well, continuing the show’s long tradition of giving back to the LGBT community whenever we can.
August marked two amazing events for us. First we launched Studio A in Manhattan, a brand new digital media studio, thanks to the generosity of the Susanne Marcus Collins Foundation Inc. to provide a space to better serve the LGBT community. With the new studio in place and a long term commitment from the Susanne Marcus Collins Foundation Inc., we will be launching a brand new digital media internship in conjunction with The Center and the Ali Forney Center, two organizations we have long supported and look forward to continuing to work with to strengthen the LGBT community, especially at-risk youth, as well as other exciting new initiatives we will be announcing in the new year.
Also in August we set sail on our largest DNR Cruise yet! We took an amazing trip to Alaska and made memories that will last a lifetime. Since the DNR Cruises began in 2013, we have continued to grow and deepen our connection with listeners, their friends and family with these extraordinary adventures.
But we didn’t just see listeners on the ocean, we also returned to Disneyland, first with Derek’s trip to Mini Gay Days in March 2016 and then with Derek and Romaine returning again to Gay Days Anaheim in October. And we packed the house at our sail away party in Seattle. This is what makes our relationship so special. The time we spend together every day with the show, the time we spend together in person and most importantly, the connections made between our listeners through our live chat room, the derekandromaine.com website, calling into the show, listener events and even this December with a listener gift exchange through Elfster.
Through this whole year we have been profoundly grateful. We have been humbled by the show of support from listeners like you. Tuning into the show including our special live election night coverage and live Christmas show, calling in with your own stories, buying DNR t-shirts, telling your friends, joining us in person and giving so generously during our annual Season of Giving. You are what makes our show great and we strive every single day to rise to your expectations in everything we do: live shows, in-person events, and giving back to the community. And none of it would be possible without your support. Thank you.
This is just the end of our first year and we are off to a strong start. 2017 promises to be incredible in so many ways. We will be back live on Monday, Jan 2nd with more great shows to keep you entertained. Also in January we will be announcing further details about our new intern program and introducing our listeners to the first of what we hope will be many people trained in digital media.
In February, we will be shattering our own records with The Love Cruise, our largest cruise ever, sailing out of Cape Canaveral followed by a magical Presidents Day Weekend adventure at Walt Disney World. Then in October, we are returning to the scene of the crime: Mexico! We have a brand new Fall 2017 DNR Cruise filled with fun and friendship. The only thing missing is you! Join us!
Starting over is never easy. And certainly our own story of starting over was filled with all sorts of bumps in the road. But we worked through the dark days and the problems and came out stronger on the other side. We have been fueled all year (and for many years together) by your love and enthusiasm and we thank you for sticking with us. We are proud of all we have accomplished in 2016 and we can’t wait to show you what we have in store for you in 2017.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Derek and Romaine