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Cigar Insider: Bob McDuffee of DogWatch Cigar Radio

3 Dec 2012

As cigar podcasting pioneers, Bob McDuffee and Dale Roush caused quite a stir when they announced last month that they’ll cease regular programs of DogWatch Cigar Radio at the end of the year. With more than 400 shows, the podcast has explored just about every aspect of cigars and expanded to a wide-ranging website, CigarMedia.tv. They’ve also introduced numerous smokers, retailers, manufacturers, products, and cigars to a world-wide audience.

I’ve been a listener since the show’s debut back in 2005 when it wasn’t quite so cigar-centric. I finally met Bob and Dale, as well as Bob’s wife, Liz, earlier this year when they held a DogWatch Herf across the state from me in Melbourne, Florida. So, when I heard the announcement I decided to follow up by email with Bob.

Stogie Guys: First, I understand Dale recently suffered a mild heart attack. How is he doing?

Bob McDuffee: Dale is well. The issue was minor, although he is looking ahead to surgery. For now he is resting at home and doing well.

SG: What are your cigar plans after the show ends?

BM: My plans are open-ended. After almost eight years of being on the show every Friday night (there were two shows I missed), it feels strange. Kind of like retiring and having lots of time on your hands. There have been several requests to continue the show in some format, and I am considering those. I hope to do more writing on the site as Cigar Curmudgeon and perhaps do short video/audio segments for release as well, but on an irregular schedule. I also have some comedy video ideas in my head that I cannot seem to get out. I recently began riding a bicycle again and have an idea for making your bicycle smoker friendly. Also, Google+ has become my micro-blog and it pushes out to Facebook as well as Twitter.

SG: You and Dale built up quite a following through the years. Are you planning to keep in touch through other ventures?

BM: Cigar Curmudgeon has always been a vehicle that I wanted to do more with, since writing is an activity I enjoy. Liz and I are planning to attend more events now that we have some free time. I think that after a short hiatus I will be longing for ways to reconnect. We have made so very many friends over the years, and I want to stay in touch with all of them. I will miss getting to talk with so many wonderful people from all over the globe. We have listeners in France, Great Britain, and the Middle East that we have never met in person but feel like they are part of the DogWatch family.

SG: Any idea how many weekly listeners you have?

BM: Our most recent statistics indicate about 20,000 downloads per month.

SG: What’s your biggest takeaway from DogWatch? What things have made the biggest impression on you?

BM: DogWatch opened the door for Liz and I to become certified through Tobacconist University, meet many friends, and be a part of a wonderful industry. It is difficult to name one single takeaway, but if I had to I would sum it up as the people. Manufacturers, retailers, and cigar passionados all made the effort worthwhile. Dale has been a great partner in this, and I will miss our weekly get-togethers.

SG: A lot of cigar podcasts have come and gone since you and Dale started. What’s the secret of your longevity, and what advice would you offer someone who wants to start?

BM: My advice would be don’t underestimate the time and work required. It helps if you have no social life, and you must have the support of the significant people in your life. Without the support of Liz all these years I could not have given up so many weekend trips, Friday nights, and money to make this happen. You have to really enjoy what you are doing to make it last. We have sincerely enjoyed DogWatch and the people involved in it. Life takes its own direction sometimes. Over the course of this show Dale and I have changed and grown in so many personal ways. Since starting DogWatch in 2005, I have lost my mother, one brother, grandfather, both in-laws, and been blessed with six grandchildren. I have smoked thousands of good cigars and a few not so good cigars. DogWatch has forever made an imprint on my life.

StogieGuys.com would like to thank Bob for taking the time to talk with us, and we wish Dale all the best for a speedy recovery.

-George E

photo credit: CigarMedia.tv

Drew Estate