Midroll Media Notable New Hires



Midroll Media announced that it had added three leaders to its growing team. The notable new hires include an executive producer for Midroll’s award-winning content group, Midroll’s first-ever head of marketing, and a new leader for Midroll’s financial operations.

Amy Fitzgibbons joins Midroll as vice president of marketing. She will be responsible for driving significant consumer growth and engagement for Midroll. Previous to joining Midroll, Amy Fitzgibbons was vice president of marketing at PhotoShelter. She also led PhotoShelter’s customer acquisition and retention efforts, as well as social media and public relations.

Laura Mayer joins Midroll as an executive producer. She will be responsible for the development, production, and launch of new podcasts for Midroll’s comedy-focused Earwolf network, as well as its Stitcher label. Previous to joining Midroll, Laura Mayer worked at Panoply, where she launched dozens of shows and led the production of the first season of Revisionist History.

David Murray joins Midroll as vice president of finance and strategy. Previously, he held the role of finance business partner and helped oversee the financial organization of E.W. Scripps’ local and national digital businesses.


What Trump Can Teach Us About Con Law Podcast



Does the news today make you wish you knew more about Constitutional Law? It turns out there is a podcast that focuses on it. What Trump Can Teach Us About Con Law  is a Radiotopia podcast.

What Trump Can Teach Us About Con Law is hosted by Roman Mars. He is the host and creator of 99% Invisible. He is also the co-founder of Radiotopia, a collective of ground-breaking independent podcasts.

Professor Elizabeth Joh is the person who explains Constitutional Law on the What Trump Can Teach Us About Con Law podcast. She is a law professor at University of California, Davis, School of Law, where she teaches constitutional law and criminal procedure. She has written widely on law and emerging technologies.

Professor Elizabeth Joh teaches Intro to Constitutional Law and most of the time this is a pretty straight forward job. But with Trump in office, everything has changed. Five minutes before class Professor Joh checks Twitter to find out what the 45th President has said and how it jibes with 200 years of judicial branch interpreting and ruling on the Constitution.

A introduction episode was posted on June 7, 2017. Since then, there have been three full episodes. Episode one, titled “Judicial Legitimacy” reminds us when Trump tweeted a criticism of a “so-called judge” who blocked enforcement of his travel ban. The episode includes information about when President Truman and the court strongly disagreed.

Episode two is titled: “The Appointments Clause and Removal Power”. It focuses on a clause in the Constitution that describes how the president can hire certain political appointees with the advice and consent of the Senate. The clause doesn’t say when the president can fire someone. The episode discusses Trump’s firings and puts them in the context of relevant Supreme Court cases.

Episode three is called “Pardon Power”. This episode focuses on the Constitution’s presidential pardon power that could potentially be used to absolve members of the Trump administration – or Trump himself. It reveals what the Constitution says about how a pardon has to be presented.


Periscope Launches Super Hearts



Periscope (which is owned by Twitter) has launched Super Hearts. It is part of their Super Broadcaster Program. The program will enable (some) people who broadcast live on Periscope to earn money. Right now, the Super Broadcaster Program is only available in the United States, but will roll out internationally “soon.”

Periscope provides an easy way for podcasters to do a live show. People who watch the show can give the podcaster hearts – that flutter over the screen. It is a way to show that you love what a podcaster who is broadcasting on Periscope is doing.

Super Hearts are new types of hearts that are larger, animated, and more fun to give. To give Super Hearts when your watching a live broadcast, tap on the Super Hearts icon right from the broadcast to change which types of hearts you send – then tap away to your heart’s content.

The Super Hearts are not replacing the original hearts. Those will still be available for viewers to give out. You can only send Super Hearts to a broadcaster when they’re live.

If you want to send your favorite Periscope broadcasters Super Hearts the first thing you need to do is tap “get coins” on Periscope to purchase a coin package from the App Store or Play Store. Each package allows you to send Super Hearts until the coins run out. Once you stock up, you can select and send any of the Super Hearts.

What do Super Hearts do for Periscope broadcasters? “Each Super Heart is worth a different star value, and when a broadcaster receives Super Hearts, it contributes to their star balance.” That’s all.

Periscope has launched their Super Broadcaster Program. The program allows select broadcasters who have applied and been approved to exchange their star balance from Super Hearts for cash. In order to apply for the Super Broadcaster Program you must meet certain requirements.

Here are a few of the requirements:

  • You must be a resident of the United States.
  • You must have an active Periscope account for at least 30 days before applying.
  • You must have a minimum star threshold of 185,000
  • You must have created at least 5 broadcasts that are publicly available over the course of the last 30 day before applying.
  • You must have an average of 50 live viewers and 75 replay viewers per public broadcast.

I cannot think of a more confusing, complex, way of putting together a system that was intended as a way to enable viewers to support Periscope broadcasters. It takes several steps in order to obtain Super Hearts, and it not entirely clear from the announcement whether or not it costs real-world money to obtain the Super Hearts.  Viewers who go through all that can send Super Hearts to the Periscope broadcasters, or podcasters, they want to support. However, doing so won’t actually give real-world money to the broadcaster until and unless he or she is part of the Super Broadcaster Program.


Youth Radio Seeks a Podcast Producer



Youth Radio produces top level media and provides education and career opportunities for diverse youth. Youth Radio is seeking a Podcast Producer.

The Podcast Producer will join Youth Radio’s media team to take our podcast programming to the next level. You’ll be the creative force behind the podcast feed for the nation’s lead producer of youth reporting and opinion. Youth Radio has won Peabody, Dupont, Kennedy, and White House Awards, and reaches tens of million of listeners through syndication. Now, we want to build and engage a new, energized, audience through podcasting – and have fun doing it.

Position Responsibility:

  • Lead podcast product development, working with youth in Oakland and around the country, and collaborating with editorial and marketing colleagues at Youth Radio’s headquarters and outlets.
  • Explore and cultivate strategic partnerships with podcast distribution platforms and networks.
  • Lead development of a workflow and production schedule, and serve as lead producer and editor of Youth Radio’s distinctive podcast feed.

The candidate must have a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience, a minimum of three years experience producing excellent creative audio, and experience in a key role on a successful podcast or radio show working on a tight deadline. Read the Youth Radio ad for more details.

Required skills include being fluent in scripting, tape skills, and coaching; expertise mixing with ProTools and field/studio recording with a range of audio recording equipment; experience marketing a new product, (and more).

The Youth Radio ad for a Podcast Producer says: “This position includes a comprehensive health, benefits, and vacation package, with a salary commensurate with experience.” Read the Youth Radio ad for more details.


Radiotopia Launched Ear Hustle Podcast



In November of 2016, Radiotopia announced the winner of Podquest.  They narrowed it down to ten finalists, and then declared Ear Hustle to be the winner. Recently, Radiotopia launched the first episode of Ear Hustle.

Ear Hustle is the newest show from Radiotopia. The podcast brings you stories of life inside prison, shared and produced by those living it.

Ear Hustle is a partnership between Earlonne Woods and Antwan Williams, who are currently incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison; and Nigel Poor, a Bay Area artist. The team works in San Quentin’s media lab to produce stories that are sometimes difficult, often funny, always honest, offering a nuanced view of people living within the American prison system.

The first episode of Ear Hustle was released on June 14, 2017.  It is titled “Cellies”. A “cellie” is a person that a prisoner shares a cell with. The episode describes the 4’x9′ cell and what it contains, and provides stories about negotiating space and relationships in such close quarters.

Part of the About Page for Ear Hustle says: “All of Ear Hustle’s episodes are reviewed and approved by an official at San Quentin prior to release. Due to the unique nature of our production, we do not respond to outside requests or pitches for material. We also do not comment on any inmate activity (beyond episodes) or relay messages to anyone inside the facility.”

To celebrate the launch of Ear Hustle, all of the Radiotopia podcasts will produce episodes around a common theme: Doing Time. You can check the the full list of episodes that fit this theme from each of the Radiotopia podcasts, and listen to as many as you want to.


NPR Seeks Sponsorship Audio Producer



NPR is seeking a Sponsorship Audio Producer for National Public Media (NPM), which is the corporate sponsorship subsidiary of NPR.  National Public Media is hiring a full-time audio producer to own the production of their new custom audio sponsorship format, Brand Soundscapes. These sponsorship messages will be featured in NPR and NPR digital platforms.

The successful candidate will be a creative, collaborative producer and interviewer who can successfully work with corporate sponsors to generate content that creates brand value while respecting NPR’s sponsorship storytelling aesthetic and guidelines. We are looking for someone who can bring fresh ideas to the world of audio sponsorship that will excite brands and engage with the audience. This position is an opportunity to build a new model for public media audio sponsorship.

NPR wants a candidate who has a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience. They require candidates to have at least five years in experience in:

  • Radio production experience on broadcast digital audio workstations
  • Conducting interview and voicing creative
  • Working with daily deadlines
  • Copywriting experience

There is a long list of other skills and abilities that they would like to see in people who apply for the Sponsorship Audio Producer.

Essential duties include: produces audio creative for NPR sponsors, and manages production process for freelance producers. The ad states that NPR “offers a competitive compensation and comprehensive benefits package, including health and wellness benefits, retirement, and work/life balance programs, as well as opportunities for growth and development.”


Submit Your Podcast to PopCon Podcast Awards



PopCon was founded to celebrate all aspects of pop culture, rather than just hyper-focusing on a specific genre. Podcasters have just a few more days to submit their podcast to the 2017 PopCon Podcast Awards. The event takes place on July 7-9, 2017, in the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, Indiana.

PopCon covers gaming, comics, cosplay, sci-fi, fantasy, anime, and more. They have a section that focuses on “Internet”. It is described this way:

The landscape of entertainment and pop culture is changing. Where previously a celebrity or star needed to be “discovered”, today’s new breed of celebrity simply needs the drive and motivation to self-publish. YouTube Star and Podcaster Extraordinaire are now legitimate titles for a business card.

Podcasters have just a few more days left to submit their podcast to the 2017 PopCon Awards. They are only accepting podcasts that are produced in the state of Indiana for this first awards ceremony. (The submission says: “Future years will likely extend beyond Indiana”.)

To submit a podcast, you must fill out the submission form. Chose which Podcast Category you believe best fits your podcast. PopCon might reassign or merge categories if existing submission pool warrants it to better facilitate an effective and entertaining award show.

Next, provide a short description of who you are as a podcast. This description will be used to describe your podcast at the ceremony. Provide a maximum of 15 minutes of your podcast in MP3 format, and give PopCon a link to your podcast’s website.

In addition, PopCon will have an Internet Alley which will feature podcasters, YouTube channel creators, and Twitch.tv streamers. Podcasters, YouTubers, and Twitch streamers will have an opportunity to participate in PopCon’s Live Podcast and Let’s Play stages. Read the PopCon website for information.


TED Presents Sincerely X Podcast



Earlier this year, TED announced the Sincerely, X podcast. It is an original audio series that features speakers sharing their important ideas in TED’s signature format, anonymously. Recently, Midroll became the exclusive ad representative for the podcast.

Episodes include speakers who need to separate their professional ideas from their personal lives; those who want to share an idea, but fear it would hurt someone in their family if they did so publicly; and quiet idealists whose solutions could transform lives.

At first, the Sincerely, X podcast was an original audio series by Audible. It was hosted by June Cohen, and executive produced by Deron Triff, both of whom are TED veterans. Colin Campbell from Audible was also an executive producer.

On June 16, 2017, Midroll announced that it is the exclusive ad representative for the TED Presents: Sincerely, X podcast. The ten episode-series debuted on Audible Channels in February of this year, and the ad-supported launch will be July 20, 2017.  A preview is available on Stitcher.

Midroll’s announcement included a quote from host Julie Cohen. “The reach of TED Talks has expanded widely over the years. But one question always nagged us: How may ideas worth spreading remain hidden because people can’t speak publicly about the very thing they feel the world needs to hear? It’s an exciting moment for use to now have Sincerely, X as a vehicle for unearthing and sharing this kind of idea.”


LeVar Burton Reads Short Fiction to You



LeVar Burton Reads debuted on June 12, 2017. Listeners can sit back and enjoy as LeVar Burton reads a hand-picked piece of short fiction to you every episode.

You might recognize LeVar Burton from “Roots” (where he played Kunta Kinte). Or, you might know him from “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (where he played Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge). Fans of “Reading Rainbow”, where LeVar Burton talked about children’s books, will enjoy LeVar Burton Reads.

LeVar Burton is the honored recipient of 12 Emmy Awards, a Grammy, and five NAACP awards.  LeVar Burton Reads is on Stitcher (Midroll Media). The podcast’s website is at ART19. Audible is a sponsor of the podcast – which truly seems like a natural fit.

A short “sneak peek” episode was released on June 2, 2017. In episode 1, LeVar Burton reads “Kin” by Bruce McAllister. It is part of his collection titled THE GIRL WHO LOVED ANIMALS. In episode 2, LeVar Burton reads “The Lighthouse Keeper”, which is part of FEN: STORIES from Graywolf Press.

I have subscribed to this podcast (via iTunes) and am looking forward to listening to what I think will feel like “Reading Rainbow” for grown ups. Short stories, either in collections or on their own somewhere on the internet, tend to be hard to find. It is wonderful that LeVar Burton will be featuring a short story on each and every episode.