Gravy Seeks Podcast Producers


Call for Podcast Producers

Gravy seeks producers. Smart and experienced storytellers. With strong narrative abilities. Game to contract with our dynamic not-for-profit. To tell complex national food stories. Grounded in the American South.

Gravy is a James Beard Foundation Award-winning biweekly podcast, downloaded more than 800,000 times yearly. Produced by the Southern Foodways Alliance, Gravy brings smart, engaging food narratives to a national audience, revealing the South in all its complexity, telling true, unexpected, and sometimes difficult stories of Southern pasts and presents.

Gravy showcases a South that is constantly evolving, receiving immigrants, adopting new traditions, and lovingly maintaining old ones. Like all SFA content, the podcast uses food to dig into the lesser known places and people and topics. We reject now-typical urban farming reportage and food world savior narratives. Instead, Gravy complicates stereotypes and documents new dynamics.

SFA thanks Tina Antolini for helping us launch the Gravy podcast. We congratulate her on new opportunities, and seek experienced producers to help us grow this award-winning program. 

Interested applicants will submit:

  • Resume with cover letter
  • 300-500 word original pitch, in narrative form, that can support a 20-25 minute podcast
  • Sample of a previously produced audio story that represents the polish and accomplishment the applicant brings to his or her current work

All materials, including links to past work, should be sent to [email protected].

Successful applicants will follow a two-step process. From selected applicants, SFA will commission and fund broadcast length and quality podcasts. On review of those finished podcasts, SFA will contract with the producer to create Gravy podcasts that tell compelling and thoughtful American stories centered in the South.

Submissions will be accepted or rejected on a rolling basis, beginning now and ending March 31, 2017. The first 10 applicants will receive a complimentary event pass to Food Media South in Birmingham on February 25, the SFA’s annual conference devoted to storytelling in the digital age.

For questions, contact the SFA: [email protected]. Producers should listen to past episodes of Gravy to familiarize themselves with the style and content of the series.

It is expected that applicants will have access to their own recording equipment and production/editing software. Essential duties and skills include:

  • Generation of episode and interview ideas
  • Construction of narratives with a beginning, middle, and end
  • Planning and production of remote interviews when necessary
  • Writing podcast episode scripts and producing web text
  • Collaborating with and mentoring field reporters as needed
  • Audio editing
  • Other duties as needed

A memorandum of understanding that elaborates on these job expectations will be signed by both SFA and the producer, upon hire.

Sample MOU for Gravy Podcast Producers


The producer typically earns $1000-$1500 per approved and published podcast. (Budgets will be negotiated on a per-episode basis.)

The SFA will provide:

  1. Travel stipend. SFA will negotiate travel stipends with the producer and/or outside reporters to help defray the costs travel related to reporting episodes.
  2. Academic resources, including suggestions for experts and collaborators for each planned episode.
  3. Editorial services. Sara Camp Milam, SFA’s Editor-in-Chief, will serve as first and final editor for scripts.
  4. Social Media/Blog support. Mary Beth Lasseter, SFA publisher, and Polished Pig Media, SFA’s PR Firm, in consultation with the producer, will devise a social media strategy for each podcast episode.
  5. Transcription support. SFA will pair the producer with a transcriptionist, if needed.
  6. Advertising support. SFA will script the donor mentions for each episode and deliver them to the producer to record and insert into the final audio file.
  7. Publishing/rights support. Producer will forward outside requests to republish/work with Gravy to Lasseter, who will finalize the details of collaboration. SFA will provide the producer with a release form for outside collaborators explaining the rights, responsibilities, and ethics of the SFA.
  8. Billing support. The SFA will request payments for episode contributors and the producer as needed, per direction from the producer responsible for managing a negotiated budget.
  9. Online publishing of podcasts. The SFA will upload the final approved podcast file to Libsyn and other outlets.

The Gravy producer will:

  1. Report, score, and produce episode(s) based on accepted pitch(es). Finished podcast episodes should be 20-25 minutes in length, and approved by the SFA editorial staff before publishing.
  2. Provide full transcripts and original audio (with verbal permission to record at the top of each interview) from each episode (Upload to shared Dropbox drive).
  3. Provide instructions and contact information to SFA staff regarding payments to collaborators/contributors (examples: tape syncs, music, archival tape) upon delivery of the finished episode.
  4. Draft a blog post of approximately 300 words with at least 2 photos related to the episode, to be published online when the episode airs. (SFA staff will publish the blog post to the SFA website).