BackStory radio call for Pitches

BackStory, a new show on American History, is seeking story ideas. Details below!




Each week, the show chooses a topic and tells stories, conducts interviews, and shares insight on how that topic has played out through American history. We’re looking for features that have a couple key components: First, a story. Your characters might be alive, or they might be long dead. Either way, you should still have some character(s) with something at stake. Second, when pitching your story, think about ways to bring these characters to life. We’re open to re-enactments, experts telling the story second hand, oral histories, all the typical stuff. But don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Questions we’re always going to ask are: Why did this happen when it happened? What does this reveal about America at the time? Why should we care about that now? Most of themes will have a news peg of some sort. You can see some of the themes we plan to produce at our independent producers page:
show: one hour/weekly
segments: 2-8 minutes

compensation: $200 – $500+ depending on difficulty and skill of the producer. All the rates below are flexible, but are meant to give you a sense of what we offer.
Level 1 Piece: $200-$350
– May include a snapshot essay of a particular moment in history, typically with simple production requirements.
– May be a shorter, 2-3 minute sound rich “audio postcard” style piece.

Level 2 Piece: $350 -$450
– Medium length story with at least one interview and some reporting.
– May include some field tape. Probably requires little travel
Level 3 Piece: $450 – Negotiable
– Longer feature with multiple interviews.

– Significant research and creative use of sound and/or content.
pitch: Email Associate Producer, Eric Mennel at, with the word “PITCH:” in your title. The more concise your pitch, the better. Include what, if any, sources you would use in your story and how you would produce them. Also include what you think this piece would sound like (field tape, scoring, effects, readings, those kinds of things). We understand we’re a new show, so we won’t be offended if you compare it to something you might hear on another radio show. We’re open to non-narrated features, written essays, and reported pieces. You don’t need to have worked in radio or history to pitch, but if you can give us a sense of your experience (radio or otherwise), please do, and include a couple of links to your best stuff.
contact: Eric Mennel, Associate Producer: (email preferred)

phone: 434-924-4403
mailing address: 145 Ednam Drive, Charlottesville, VA 22903

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