It’s important to ask for help, even though it’s not always easy. It’s also important to lend someone else a helping hand.
This episode of the Digital Hospitality podcast brings us to the garage/recording studio of Dave Palet to talk about the digital evolution of the Dave and Jeff Show, building a community of supporters, and the Jake’s Projects charity that honors the legacy of Dave’s youngest son.
The interview was recorded next to a photo of his son Jake, who the world lost in 2018. Dave is president of Jake’s Projects, the nonprofit charity inspired by Jake and his love of baseball and coaching young athletes.
Dave is also one half of the Dave and Jeff Show podcast with his longtime broadcasting partner Jeff Dotseth. After a successful sports radio career, the team has transitioned into the more modern form of podcasting. They have an army of superfans who’ve supported them along the way.
We believe that A Rising Tide Lifts All Ships at Cali BBQ Media. When you help others in need, then others will help you when you’re in need. It’s the essence behind Digital Hospitality.
The companies that are going to win, the brands that are going to win, the missions that are going to win, are the ones that understand we can’t do it by ourselves.
Previously, Dave Palet was a guest on Shawn Walchef’s former podcast, Behind the Smoke: BBQ War Stories. When that show came out, Dave and Jeff were in year two of their podcast journey after transitioning away from airwaves and old media.
Dave and Jeff have been favorite sports radio personalities in San Diego for a long time, but now they have a global reach thanks to the power of podcasting their show online.
“As much as a loved doing radio, and as much as I used to love getting the newspaper, you start to realize there’s nothing in today’s newspaper that happened today. Everything comes across so quickly on your phone and your computer.”
Even legends can quickly become irrelevant without a digital evolution. That’s exactly why Cali BBQ Media was created, to help guide others toward a digital future. It’s not easy to adapt, but it’s necessary.
At one time there was talk of cord cutters, those people who moved entirely away from older forms of broadcasting like cable TV and radio, into consuming digital content using streaming apps like Netflix or Spotify.
Now people don’t cut cords, they just never plug them in.
“You start to realize that less than 2 percent of the people under the age of 22 have cable or DirectTV. … I started thinking, ‘my way is the old way,’” Dave Palet said. “I can sit there and be The Last of the Mohicans, or I can sit there and adjust.”
Dave and Jeff left XTRA 1360 in August 2016. When Dave first mentioned doing a podcast to his co-host, Jeff’s answer was “no way” because he looked at it as a step backward from their prior radio gig.
Eventually the pair saw eye-to-eye and they made the smart choice of moving into podcasting and distributing their own content online.
Now the Dave and Jeff Show isn’t even trying to get back on the radio. Why would they, when they can reach their fans on their own whenever they want?
They’ve since had more than 2 million downloads of their Dave and Jeff Show podcast.
“We never had that kind of response in radio,” Dave Palet said. “This is around the world, this isn’t just San Diego.”
Now Dave said they’re following in the footsteps of Cali BBQ Media, by incorporating high-quality video and other content into the mix so they can broaden their ability to reach audiences in new ways.
Lending a Hand Through Media:
Dave Palet and Jeff Dotseth have done a lot to give back using the reach of their popular show. They continue that mission however they can.
For their 20th anniversary in 2018 everyone who donated $25 was invited to a special event at the Eastlake Country Club in Chula Vista, where they dined on Cali Comfort BBQ, hung out with Fantasy Football expert Lisa Ann, listened to the Disappointing Joseph band, among other entertainment.
Most importantly, the fundraiser exceeded their goals and raised thousands of dollars for important causes: Stand Up to Cancer, Rancho Coastal Humane Society, Charity: water, Suicide Awareness, and The Alpha Project.
Dave and Jeff asked their supporters to help them help others and it worked.
“That was his doing,” Dave Palet said about his radio partner Jeff Dotseth and the work he put into organizing their 20th anniversary fundraising event in San Diego. The event did a lot of good for humanity, but it came in a terrible year for Dave and Jeff.
“It was January 1 where I get a phone call that said that my dad took his own life,” Dave said. “And it was also January 1, 2018, when Jeff and his wife decided they were getting a divorce. … It took me a long time to get out of that fog.”
Dave and Jeff’s relationship is a true partnership because they help each other. “He carried me that year,” Dave said about working with Jeff.
When you learn to ask for help, you see how many people there are who have your back.
Gone Far Too Soon:
It was October 2018 when Dave’s youngest son Jake passed away at 20 years old. A fentanyl-laced sleeping pill to help with rest stopped his heart while playing video games in his room.
To lose a child is a tragedy. If you love someone who’s felt that pain, now is a good time to remind them that you’re here for them.
“It’s as bad as you could possibly imagine,” Dave said. “It has been brutal for us, every single day. … Every night you can’t fall asleep because you think about your son. And every morning when you wake up it’s like somebody throws a bucket of ice water on your face telling you your kid is dead.”
Dave will do anything he can to stop what happened to his son from happening to another person’s child. “So no other parent has to go through what we went through.”
Jake was coaching for the California Bears travel baseball team before he died. He also dreamed of being a pro football player. He had a lot ahead of him.
After the shock of losing their youngest, the Palet family began to ponder how to memorialize the legacy of the beloved young man who was a mentor to so many.
“Jake loved those kids that he was coaching,” Dave Palet said. “You were at the funeral and saw all those kids wearing California Bears jerseys. Not only his old teammates, but also the new kids.”
Jake’s Projects was born in the wake of grief and an outpouring of support. The image on the charity’s shirt is of Jake giving his father a hug after a big win. Surrounding them is the number 25 which Jake wore in honor of his brother Josh Palet who wore the same number when he played baseball.
“We go through the whole process of starting Jake’s Projects with the attitude of the (California) Bears. … We give them the confidence to play up to their ability. Worse case scenario they’re going to leave the Bears or high school baseball with good childhood memories.”
As a coach who works with young people, he’s learned first-hand the struggles that many have with depression, just like his son did. Parents have come to Dave asking for help keeping an eye on their children because of how prevalent depression and suicide is among youth.
A community looks after one another.
Helping Jake’s Projects:
The Jake’s Projects nonprofit charity was established in 2019 to spread the love that Jake showed the world in his time here. Jake loved to help others find success in life through sports. He wanted everyone to be able to play.
You can make a donation to Jake’s Projects online at https://jakesprojects.org. Money raised pays for uniforms, equipment, supplies, plus important education on depression and the dangers of taking unprescribed medication. The goal is to empower youth through baseball and teach life skills along the way.
“The idea is to give kids a chance to play. That’s what Jake would have wanted.”
Creating great childhood memories, helps create great future adults. And the cycle of positivity continues if people are willing to help each other when it’s needed.
Dave and Jeff bring their listeners in on the good times, and the bad. When you form relationships with your audience, you’re building a family who are happy to lend a hand.
The show’s supporters are compelled to help when they can, whether it’s through a T-shirt fundraiser, a charity event, or help with a new website. That’s what family does.
One of the show’s biggest champions is Cali BBQ Media’s very own Kyle Pflueger, who through his Mithril Media company, created custom mobile-friendly websites for the Dave and Jeff Show, Jake’s Projects, Valley Farm Markets, and also our new CaliBBQ.Media online home.
We asked Kyle for help combining our BBQ restaurant website and our media company website. We couldn’t have done it without his assistance. Dave Palet feels the same way about the talented web designer and all-around great person.
“Kyle is family to us,” Dave Palet said. “This podcast has opened doors to so many people, and not just business relationships, but much more than that. When this is all said and done, Kyle matters to us, his wife matters to us, his kids matter to us.”
It’s not merely about building business partners for the show, it’s about building an extended family, which carries a lot more power.
There’s big things on the horizon for Dave and Jeff as their podcast continues to evolve into its digital future with more video and big names stopping by Dave’s garage to talk sports, life, and everything else.
Dave’s courage to share his story in order to help others is beyond admirable.
Let it inspire you to do what you can right now to help someone else who you care about. Then ask them to do the same and help another. And then another. And another.
There’s always someone who needs a helping hand.
Make a donation to Jake’s Projects online at https://jakesprojects.org.
Visit the Dave and Jeff Show online at https://daveandjeffshow.com.