We Just Stepped Into a Whole New World

We have a podcast.  

Since school started in August, a handful of my advanced Broadcast Journalism staffers have been working on a new show named after our audio booth, "Bay 11."  Here's what we did to get it off the ground.

First, we came up with the concept that fit our class, stories and interviews by teens, for teens.  We wanted to "stay in our lane" for this effort.  I kept saying, "It's still story telling," but without pictures, it's different.  And, it's cool.

We wanted the first story to be powerful.  I think it is.  We also wanted to utilize one of the cool things about doing a podcast, which is you can talk to anyone.  Just get them to call in.  That happened thanks to Dana Powell, a former HTVer who agreed to talk to us about her career in Hollywood.  You might have seen her playing Pam on "Modern Family" now and then.  She was a great guest, and our last segment will continue to feature call-ins, hopefully with someone as lively as Dana.

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We also wanted to make a little money for our HTV Alumni Scholarship fund, so we found two sponsors.  We only asked for 50 bucks each, and they agreed.  That was a nice bonus.  And after the first story, we really needed to go to a break, so the second spot really helped us take a breath at that point in the show.

Podcasts need logos, and for that, we hit up another talented HTV alum, Chandler Reed, who is a graphic designer in New York these days.  He did a great job creating the Bay 11 logo that you see along with all the other podcast art out there.  Chandler knew all about edit bay 11, because it wasn't that long ago he was recording his own audio there as we worked on his HTV projects.

On the tech side, we had a lot of work to do.  It was not easy getting the quality audio we wanted.  In fact, there are a lot of things about this first show that bother us, but we felt it was good enough to go forward with.  We started learning Adobe Audition, and that is helping us clean up some of our audio issues, but all three segments on this first podcast were edited first in Final Cut Pro X, which actually is the video editing software we are used to.  Then we took the final audio file into Audition for some detail work.  Maybe not the best system, but we will make changes to the process in the weeks ahead, I'm sure.

Field gear we used included a Tascam audio recorder, and also a Zoom recorder.  We use them with our DSLRs as well, so the students are getting pretty used to them.  The kids used both lav and hand-held mics here and there.  Several of the main interviews, and the reporters' voice content, were recorded in Bay 11.  So was Dana Powell's phone call.  Our theme music was composed and performed by one of our staffers, Hayden Pyle.  Other music clips used on the show were free, from various websites you can find "out there" if you dig.

Our podcast host site is libysn.com.  That is where the audio track lives.  Then, once we submitted to iTunes, which is totally free, the show was ready for public consumption about 30 hours later.  We are also on Google Play, Stitcher, and Player.FM.   We made a web page for the podcast, which is htvbuzz.com/bay11.

One of the big challenges we face is "podcast style."  While we are most at home reporting stories on our flagship program, "HTV Magazine," adjusting to the more intimate, conversational podcast world will take a little time.  (Thanks to Tim Smith and Lindsey Davis for their valuable input about pod-storytelling)  

This entire journey into a new format, one that is so popular, and so fun, has been worth it.  We hope you will give Bay 11 a listen, a follow, and yes, a nice review.  We have learned that matters a lot in Podcast World.

Find "Bay 11" here:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/bay-11/id1291766796