Acquisitions Update – who is taking what from radio freelancers

This incredibly valuable information for radio freelancers, from Paul Ingles, the NPR Liaison to Independent Producers. Please note that much of the radio information I send on to this group comes from AIR – the Association of Independents in Radio I have been a member for a long time and it’s an incredibly valuable resource. Please check them out if you’re interested. Best, Mia


At the request of Sue Schardt, I have been trying to contact various show producers to get an update on whether they are actively acquiring content from independents, and update rates paid. Response has been fast from some, slower from others, with no response from several – so far. Here’s what I’ve heard from those who’ve responded:


Ellen Weiss: Fiscal year 2010 looks better but NPR is still chipping away at a deficit so “we are holding the line on expenses – and the close scrutiny and high bar we put into place (on story submissions) remain….and will for the foreseeable future. The current rate system (based on expierence tiers and story enterprise levels) remains the same.”


Eileen Bolinksy: LOE is accepting a limited number of acquisitions from independents. Producers can pitch to me at this email address We pay $100/minute, plus previously approved expenses.

*WORD OF MOUTH (New Hampshire Public Radio)*

Avishay Artsy: We are accepting pitches from independents. We take produced features (at $60/minute) and scripted two-way interviews (for $150). The show’s focus is the same: new ideas and trends in science, technology, popular culture, the arts, and other fields.


Leda Hartman: The WVR continues to accept pitches from domestic and overseas reporters. Our pitch meetings take place on Wednesday afternoons, US eastern time. We’re on the lookout for pieces about poverty and justice (broadly defined) that highlight the personal stories of ordinary people, and are rich in scenes and nat sound. We’re especially interested in surprising, out-of-the-box and under-reported stories that tell us something unique about life in the developing world. Our mix is about 80% international stories and 20% domestic. Pitches can be sent to the assignment editor, Leda Hartman, at If you’re pitching for the first time, please include a couple of audio samples of your work.

The WVR pays $450 for a feature under 4 minutes; $650 for a feature 4-6 minutes long; and $750 for a feature more than 6 minutes. We also run shorter, less conventional segments, including reporter’s notebooks ($300); street vendor segments ($250); cooking segments ($250); trackless “in their own words” segments ($200); photos and blogs ($25-$50). After the first piece, we will consider paying travel expenses if the expense estimate is submitted at the time of the pitch.

*AARP PRIME TIME POSTSCRIPT* ** Janelle Haskell: I am definitely still seeking submissions for Prime Time Postscript, the weekly 5-minute feature. Pieces need to be fully produced, between 4:00 and 4:15 in length, have not been broadcast previously *nationally, *and appeal to the 50+ audience (meaning on topics of every variety). We pay $350 for the spot and an extra $50 for fully cleared photos to use on the website.

*BBC AMERICANA* ** David Schulman: Not taking many traditional reported pieces from independents as the show draws on the strengths of its host Matt Frei. Are using independents for “enchanced” tape synchs that might involve extra sound gathering. Still, listen to the show and if a story idea that would suit the program’s style comes to mind, pitch away: Rates for a basic tape synch $175 flat fee. Enhanced tape synchs – $225. Buying from PRX (occasionally) at $60 per minute. David suggest keeping your AIR DIRECTORY listing current, because that’s where they go first to look for synch and reporting help where they need it.

These are programs I’m still nudging to hear back from: Studio 360, Latino USA, Splendid Table, Only A Game, Here and Now, Environment Report, Marketplace, The World, Soundprint. If there are other acquirers you are anxious to hear about, let me know and I’ll try to get in touch with them.


Paul Ingles Independent Producer / Reporter NPR Liaison to Independent Producers 505-255-1219

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