ROYAL OAK – When you drive up, it’s a nondescript building off of 11 Mile Road in Royal Oak. The signs aren’t installed yet. The awning hasn’t been changed in color from red to either the black or green of the network colors. But inside, it’s already a hive of activity.

A number of show hosts and Jessica Rangel, who does studio operations, make their way in to check out the in-progress digs, try out the just installed microphones, and chit-chat in the lobby waiting room that still has a stack of art from the previous studio in Ferndale sitting on the floor off to the side.

Some of the pieces go all the way back to when the flagship podcast, IT in the D, was founded and broadcasted in the Russell Industrial Center. But we’ll get back to the history in a minute.

Under construction inside (with one studio already complete) are four new studios for Podcast Detroit, a podcast network that has gone from non-existent a little over a year ago to more than 50 shows of various kinds with many just waiting for space to launch, anchored by the IT in the D show. Two studios with four microphones, two with eight, with one that can also handle the needs of recording live bands for their shows.

“It was our bowling night,” says David Phillips, co-founder of Podcast Detroit, area technologist and co-host on IT in the D of the founding of the podcast.

Bowling night has turned into 400,000-500,000 listeners a week for the flagship show IT in the D, which is basically Detroit’s morning show for all things pop culture and geek. Although they’re Detroit based, there are listeners from all over the country.

But Podcast Detroit is not a one-show pony. There are a variety of genres represented – from areas like beer culture and storm chasing you might not find often on traditional media; to inspirational, music and sports – with thousands of listeners for shows like Detroit Sports Rag by Jeff Moss as well as Forward Down The Field by the guy who sings the song of the same name at Detroit Lions games.

M2 Techcast also is produced at the PodcastDetroit studios. Co-hosts are long time Michigan technology reporters, Mike Brennan, Editor of MITechNews.Com, and Matt Roush, formerly the technology editor at WWJ Newsradio, and now the news director at Lawrence Technological University.

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