Fishers resident finds niche as ‘Indy Now’ co-host


Ryan Ahlwardt has found the perfect TV spot.

Ahlwardt said “Indy Now,” which airs weekdays from 10 to 11 a.m. on Fox 59, is the most-watched lifestyle show in Indiana.

Ahlwardt, a Fishers resident and 1999 Hamilton Southeastern High School graduate, has been the host since September 2021.

“Our show promotes local events, small businesses, artists, nonprofits and everyday Hoosiers who are positively impacting their community to our viewers in central Indiana,” Ahlwardt said. “Our enthusiastic and loyal viewers have made ‘Indy Now’ the No. 1 show in our time slot since our launch in 2021. Hosting the show with my co-host Jillian Deam and working with our talented producers Kerrigan Arnold and Abby Peavey has been an amazing journey in our short time together as a team.

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Jillian Deam and Ryan Ahlwardt are co-hosts of “Indy Now.” (Photo courtesy of Ryan Ahlwardt)

“I feel like I was made for this role and am thankful that I get the opportunity to shine a light on so many positive things happening in our community.”

Ahlwardt was a member of the a cappella group Straight No Chaser while attending Indiana University from 1999 to 2003. He toured professionally with Straight No Chaser during the first five years of its contract with Atlantic Records from 2008 to 2012.

“I left the group in 2012 to start a family back home and lead the local chapter of Young Life at my alma mater from 2012 to 2018,” Ahlwardt said.

Ahlwardt’s newest album, “Songs for Your Soul, Vol. 2,” was released in November 2022 and features six original songs, several of which were inspired by growing up in Indiana.

“The album’s first track, ‘The Good Old Days,’ opens with the lyric, ‘I remember being 17 on summer nights at Deer Creek,’” Ahlwardt said. “The album was recorded in Noblesville by Matt Mellinger, my friend and producer of nine years, and is available on all streaming platforms and I’m currently writing and recording my next project of original songs. My wife Lauren and I perform regularly around town and at private and corporate events.”

Ahlwardt and friends Blaine Zimmerman and Russ Slivka created “The Presiquential Podcast” in 2020 to explore the lives, legacies and little-known facts about every U.S. president.

“Blaine and I read over 21,000 pages of presidential biographies from (George) Washington through (Barack) Obama over two years,” Ahlwardt said. “We’ve released over 60 episodes to date, including bonus episodes on other figures in American history. One of our favorite experiences was recording our episode on Hoosier President Benjamin Harrison at his home and presidential site in downtown Indy. As we explore what’s next for us, we’ve been enjoying some late 1980s nostalgia while watching Season 1 of ‘American Gladiators.’

“Fortunately, we don’t have to read 21,000 pages for this current adventure.”

Ahlwardt and Lauren have two children, Olivia, 8, and Gus, 6.

“We attend Mercy Road Church and enjoy everything Fishers has to offer,” Ahlwardt said.

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