Have an idea for a new podcast? American Public Media, a division of Minnesota Public Radio (“MPR”), is launching an open call for podcast pitches. We’re looking for storytellers, producers and new talent from all backgrounds to join us in entertaining, educating and connecting with people in new ways.
We’re ultimately looking for two to three new show ideas to develop into pilots and potentially full seasons of at least six episodes. If selected for a full season, APM will also provide marketing and PR support, underwriting/sales and membership opportunities, and the opportunity to collaborate, cross-promote and learn from other APM Podcast teams.
APM’s current slate of shows include a range of critically acclaimed content, from the kids’ science podcast Brains On and the U.S. Poet Laureate’s podcast The Slowdown, to the laughing-through-your tears Terrible, Thanks for Asking. At APM, we take on criminal justice, the economy, history, comedy, mental health and more. You can find a full list of our shows here.
For this open call, it’s not required that you have professional audio or media production experience (although that doesn’t hurt, either). It IS important that you have a stand-out, timely idea that will resonate deeply with listeners.
We are interested in a wide variety of concepts, hosts, styles and structures, but there are a few key traits we’re looking for in each pitch:
- Surprise us. Pitch us a well-defined show that’s different than what we already make — and different from what’s already out there for podcast listeners.
- Clearly define your show concept. You should be able to describe the overall concept of your show in a few sentences or less.
- Do more than entertain. We take our public service mission seriously, and look for podcasts that not only engage people but also provide a deep value to our audience.
- Understand who your audience is, and why they’ll listen. Consider how your show might expand the diversity of public radio and podcasting and bring in new audience.
- Think long-term. Can your show extend for at least a six-episode season? Does the concept have multi-season potential?
- Take risks. Are you a writer who has never worked in audio? Maybe you’ve been producing news, but want to take on a longer project. Maybe you’ve never worked in media, but have the best idea for an interview show. Take a chance with us; we’re looking to build strong teams around strong talent. You don’t have to know how to do everything.
Submissions will be accepted from January 15th to February 15th. If your idea is selected for further consideration, producers from APM will reach out with additional questions. APM may enter into pilot production negotiations with finalists.