SFA Seeks Podcast Reporters and Producers

Gravy is the James Beard Foundation Award winning biweekly podcast approaching its 50th episode and claiming 35,000 downloads each month. Gravy brings smart Southern food narratives to a national audience, revealing the region in all its complexity, telling true and sometimes difficult stories of Southern pasts and presents.

Gravy showcases a South that is constantly evolving, receiving immigrants from across the world, adopting new traditions, and lovingly maintaining old ones. Gravy uses food to dig into the lesser-known corners of the region, complicate stereotypes, document new dynamics, explore history and family connections, and sing the unsung people who grow, cook, and serve our daily meals.

SFA seeks a producer for five episodes of Gravy (hereafter called a batch). The budget for a fully deliverable batch (as outlined in the Gravy producer requirements below) is $15,000 all-inclusive. Payments will be made in two equal installments: the first payment following delivery of 3 completed podcasts, and the second payment after delivery of the final 2 episodes and all ancillary materials, plus raw audio and editing session files in an accessible digital format. Interested applicants should send a resume, cover letter, and samples of work to info@southernfoodways.org.

The SFA will provide:

1.     Story ideas. For each batch, SFA will offer three story prompts from the Gravy print journal or other documentary work. The producer will tell a story rooted in those prompts. The producer will offer 2 story ideas, at least one of which should use existing SFA material (film, oral history, Gravy print journal, events)

2.     Subject area resources. SFA will offer suggestions for academic collaborators/subject area experts for each planned episode of Gravy.

3.     Editorial services. Sara Camp Milam, SFA’s Editor-in-Chief, will serve as first and final editor for Gravy scripts.

4.     Social Media/Blog support. Mary Beth Lasseter, Gravy’s publisher, will devise a social media strategy for each podcast episode.

5.     Transcription support. The SFA has a subscription to an online transcription service that will be available to the producer.

6.     Advertising support.  SFA will calendar and write scripts for donor mentions in each episode (typically 2 per show).

7.     Publishing/rights support. The producer will forward will forward any requests to republish/broadcast/excerpt or otherwise use Gravy podcast material to Lasseter, who will finalize the details of collaboration. SFA will provide producer with a release form for outside producers explaining rights/responsibilities/ethic of SFA.

8.     Financial support. Out of the all-inclusive batch budget of $15,000, the SFA will request payments for producer collaborators who need payment at the time of service (tape syncs, music rights, etc.) per direction from the producer. SFA will also reimburse the producer’s travel, lodging, and meal expenses as they are incurred, using funds from the $15,000 budget. The dollar difference between these paid expenses and the two $7,500 installments will be issued in keeping with the two-installment timeline.

9.     Online publishing of podcasts. The SFA will upload the final approved podcast file to Libsyn and other outlets.

The Gravy producer will provide:

1.     5 podcast episodes (one batch). The producer will report, score, voice, and produce these episodes. Should the producer wish to hire an outside reporter, payment will be made from the batch budget. Each final episode should be approximately 15-20 minutes, inclusive of host audio and donor mentions. The producer may use any combination of reporting styles as long as the overall costs remain in line with the total $15,000 budget.

2.     Full transcripts and original audio (with verbal permission to record at the top of each interview) from each episode. For each episode SFA also requests ancillary materials, plus raw audio and editing session files in an accessible digital format.

3.     Directions to SFA for payment to outside collaborators (tape syncs, music rights, etc.) upon delivery of each finished episode, if needed.

4.     A draft blog post with photos, related to the episode, to be published online when the episode airs. (SFA staff will publish the blog post to the SFA website).

Remuneration for each batch:

1.     The producer will have an all-inclusive budget of $15,000 for production of a Gravy batch of 5 episodes. Payments will be made in two equal installments as outlined in the third paragraph of this document.

2.     The producer is responsible for managing the budget, including payments for sound mixing, music rights, reporter stipends, tape syncs, travel, etc.


From the date of a signed contract, the producer will have four to six months to complete the 5-episode batch.