SFA Seeks Podcast Reporters and Producers

Gravy is the James Beard Foundation Award winning podcast. 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 $17,500 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. Interested applicants should send a resume, cover letter, and samples of work to info@southernfoodways.org.

The SFA will provide:

  1. Subject area resources. SFA will offer suggestions for academic collaborators/subject area experts for each planned episode of Gravy.
  2. Editorial services. Sara Camp Milam, SFA’s Editor-in-Chief, will serve as first and final editor for Gravy scripts.
  3. Recorded host audio in .wav format with timed transcripts.
  4. Advertising support. SFA will calendar and record scripts for donor mentions in each episode (typically 2 per show).
  5. Online file storage. SFA will set up shared Dropbox folders for each episode.
  6. Social media support. SFA will devise a social media strategy for each podcast episode.
  7. Transcription support. SFA has a subscription to an online transcription service, Trint, that will be available to the producer.
  8. Music support. SFA has a subscription to a Blue Dot Sessions account. Producers are encouraged to use music from this account. Any music that requires royalty payments may be used, but the cost is charged to the batch budget.
  9. Financial support. Out of the all-inclusive batch budget of $17,500, 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. The second payment will include $8750 minus any expenses already paid on behalf of the producer.
  10. 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 20-23 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 $17,500 budget.
  2. Suggested host language in the script, which hosts will use as a guide when recording.
  3. Directions to SFA for payment to outside collaborators (tape syncs, music rights, etc.) upon delivery of each finished episode, if needed.
  4. Episode deliverables to be deposited in shared Dropbox folders:
    1. 1 paragraph episode summary
    2. 3-4 photos (from field reporting or archival photos) with captions. At least one must be landscape orientation (vs. portrait orientation)
    3. a list of music included in the episode
    4. a list of acknowledgments
    5. 3 suggested titles for each episode for SFA consideration
    6. 1 short B-roll clip to be used as an audiogram to promote the episode, shared in .mp3 format
    7. a list of subjects with social media handles (if applicable)
    8. Final episode audio files in 3 formats: .wav, .mp3, and .mp2

SFA staff will publish all content to SFA channels, and producers are also encouraged to share their work via social media.

Remuneration for each batch:

  1. The producer will have an all-inclusive budget of $17,500 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. Travel expenses will be reimbursed as they are incurred, and any credit balance in the travel budget will be added to the final payment. Producers must submit original receipts (or recorded mileage) to be reimbursed.
  3. 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.