New podcast, nostalgic roots: The return of The Downtown Dish

Iowa City Downtown District and Corridor Business Journal partner to launch new podcast

Charlie Nusser (left) and Anna Moyers Stone will host The Downtown Dish, a new monthly podcast. CREDIT JESSICA ABDONEY/ UPLOAD MEDIA GROUP
Charlie Nusser (left) and Anna Moyers Stone will host The Downtown Dish, a new monthly podcast. CREDIT JESSICA ABDONEY/ UPLOAD MEDIA GROUP

Charlie Nusser was in high school when he started hearing his father’s voice regularly over the radio.

His father, Bill Nusser, owner of Hands Jewelers in downtown Iowa City, was one of the two charismatic hosts of the AM-800 KXIC radio show, “The Downtown Dish,” shining a spotlight on downtown Iowa City businesses and events through interviews with entrepreneurs and other key players.

“My mother and I were always convinced that no one listened to it,” said Charlie Nusser, general manager of Hands Jewelers, his family’s 141-year-old business. “But it actually became one of the station’s most popular shows, and it just kept growing.”

The Downtown Dish aired for nearly a decade; it went off the air when iHeartRadio purchased the station in the mid-2010s, Mr. Nusser said. In the works since 2020, the show will return in June 2024 as a digital podcast released by the Corridor Business Journal, in partnership with the Iowa City Downtown District.

Bill Nusser co-hosted the original radio show with Catherine Champion, owner of Catherine’s Boutique. The two were known for their enthusiastic banter and energy.

Like his father, Charlie Nusser is one of the two charismatic hosts re-launching The Downtown Dish to a new audience. He is joined by co-host Anna Moyers Stone, former vice president and trust officer at MidWestOne Bank, now a stay-at-home mom.

Mr. Nusser and Ms. Moyers Stone are Iowa City natives and childhood friends, growing up in the same neighborhood in Iowa City. They attended the same elementary and middle school, and both graduated from West High, though in separate graduation years. 

As working adults, the two friends served on the Community Foundation of Johnson County Board of Directors and would often serve together as MCs for big events. Their chemistry as presenters “just seemed to work.”

“We wouldn’t prepare that much. We would just kind of fly, and it’s one of those things where it’s like, this is somebody who is on my same page,” Mr. Nusser said about presenting with Ms. Moyers Stone. “We could just converse effortlessly.”

Mr. Nusser would sometimes served as a substitute host for his father on the original Downtown Dish, and Ms. Moyers Stone once came in as a guest. Both agree that fun, candid conversation was, and remains, the main goal of the show.

“Since we’re in this community already, these guests are our friends and neighbors,” Ms. Moyers Stone said. “Hopefully this will be a way for people to learn about things going on in our town, and learn about people they don’t know yet.”

The two hosts are hoping to capture the magic of the original show while also bringing fresh perspectives and new segments that will continue to showcase all that downtown Iowa City has to offer. They also hope to have Bill Nusser make occasional cameos with his own “gossip segment.”

“Our goal is to create something fun that people can listen to on their commute, or however they want to enjoy it,” Mr. Nusser said. “Serious, educational podcasts are great, but we really hope that our podcast can just make people smile.”

The first episode of The Downtown Dish podcast will be released in June on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Google Play. Subscribe to the CBJ’s daily newsletters at or follow the Iowa City Downtown District and the CBJ on Facebook for the latest updates and links to the monthly episodes