Program by media icon, senior advocate explores ‘the adventures of aging’

Staff Report

Groundbreaking media icon Rona Barrett, now advocate for vulnerable seniors, has launched “Gray Matters: The Podcast,” sharing personal stories and observations about “the adventure of aging.” Barrett’s debut podcast is a weekly dose of thought-provoking, funny and useful insights on issues that matter to our senior loved ones and those who care for them.

“I hear from so many friends and fans struggling with the realities of caring for senior family members or their own senior years,” said Barrett. “There are too many unspoken mysteries around growing up and growing older. I hope my podcast will bring people of all ages together to share freely about the experience of phasing into new stages of life.”

After more than 35 years as a famed celebrity reporter, commentator and producer, Barrett has spent the past 20 years championing the need for housing and care for vulnerable seniors, as founder and CEO of the nonprofit Rona Barrett Foundation.

Barrett began her groundbreaking work at age 13, when her efforts helped launch the careers of Eddie Fisher and Steve Lawrence. In 1957, she was the youngest columnist to report on Hollywood, and her role in inaugurating Good Morning America blazed the trail for innovative entertainment reporting and for women in the media industry. Barrett has published six top-rated magazines, paving the way for Martha Stewart and Oprah Winfrey enterprises.

Barrett continues to deliver on her track record of firsts with the Rona Barrett Foundation, as a pioneer in affordable housing and leading the organization to become an award-winning innovator of community-based housing and wellness services for low-income seniors. This year marks the fifth anniversary of the opening of the foundation’s Golden Inn & Village in Santa Barbara County, which serves as a model community that can be replicated in communities around the country.  

The first series of “Gray Matters: The Podcast” gives voice to stories from Barrett’s acclaimed “Gray Matters” book and column. Episodes run about five minutes, borrowing from Barrett’s most tender moments to laugh-out-loud adventures with family, friends and career. Episode one, “The Parent to My Parent,” reveals the beginning of her new path as she cared for her own father through the first stages of Alzheimer’s disease. 

“My wish is that the podcast will also bring more attention to the need for changes in housing and healthcare policy to address the crisis in senior care,” Barrett said. “And to inspire people to support our programs that give seniors in their time of need the golden years that we all deserve.” 

Weekly episodes and subscription to “Gray Matters: The Podcast” are available at