MALIBU, CALIF. – It’s a new day for Diane Gooch and her eldest son, Mickey Gooch Jr., as they embark on a venture they hope will lead to a healthier life for them and for others.
This month Diane Gooch, former publisher of The Two River Times and 2010 Republican candidate for U.S. House of Representatives, and her son, began cohosting a web-based radio talk show during which the two and their guests talk openly about Mickey’s battles with addiction, his ongoing recovery, Diane’s support for her son and her hope of moving forward.
The show, titled “Radio Lifeboat with DG & Mickey Gooch,” is a one-hour live broadcast at 7 p.m. EST Sunday nights from their Malibu home. It is replayed during the week and available on the web at www.talkers.com/talkersradio.
“I think this is a way I can reach people to make a difference,” Diane Gooch said this week from California of the show that premiered on Jan. 12.
Nothing is off-limits for topics or addressing the questions submitted by listeners via Facebook and Twitter, she said.
So far she said she has talked about her divorce from Michael “Mickey” Gooch Sr. (owner of The Two River Times), her battles with depression, the toll dealing with a family member suffering from the disease of addiction and her recent embracing of Transcendental Meditation.
“My whole reason for doing this is to let people know, ‘Hey, you’re not alone. I went through this,’ ” she said.
“The topics are easy to talk about, because I lived through all of them,” Mickey said.
The show is produced by TalkersRadio, launched last fall by Talkers magazine, an industry trade publication, which called TalkersRadio a “showcase for new talk programming concepts.”
Diane Gooch is now a principal in Talk Radio News Service, a Washington, D.C.-based operation providing syndicated news and talk shows. Its manager, Ellen Ratner, a Fox News consultant, who Diane described as a close friend, first approached Diane about doing a political show for the service. But when she relocated to California to spend time with her son, she decided this might be a more important route for her to take “to get the word out about addiction, that it is a disease.”
“There’s no reason to hide the past,” Mickey stressed, “and my past is pretty ugly.
“There’s probably no one who’s known me for the past 20 years who doesn’t know I’ve struggled with addiction,” he said.
Mickey, 28, said he has been struggling for years with drug and alcohol addiction and has sought treatment many times. He is even more candid about his addictions on the weekly webcast. “Over the last 10 years I’ve created a resume of trying and failing,” he acknowledged.
But now he’s closing in on a year of sobriety and said he hopes to have a career in show business in some capacity, expressing an interest in acting and writing and stand-up comedy.
“There is no magic number” of times it takes to finally get sober, he said, hoping others, “who have tried rehab and failed,” will be encouraged to continue to try and get well.
While initially expressing some reservations about the radio show and its subject matter, “I feel it’s as therapeutic as going to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting,” he said.
The Gooches have had guests on their show who include professionals in the field, such as addiction counselors and mental healthcare professionals. In the future they will have actor Lou Gossett as a guest and a show discussing the role traumatic brain injury may play in addiction. Plans also are in the works to take the show on the road, including to Mexico to do a segment on the use of the hallucinogenic Ibogaine as an anti-addictive treatment.
“It’s going really well and I’m enjoying this,” Diane said, noting the joy is coming from doing “something that is close to my heart.”