Let me start by saying this: I have great admiration for Aaron Henkin and Wendel Patrick. They decided to put their podcast under a microscope. Why? To re-think the show top to bottom. That’s risky. It’s no easy thing to let someone pick your work apart in a group setting but that’s just what they’ve done. In the end, they may radically transform their podcast.
Aaron and Wendel produce Out of the Blocks, It’s an hour-long show from WYPR in Baltimore. For each show, Aaron and Wendel pick a block in Baltimore and interview as many people who live and work on that block as possible. They then weave together their interviews in a kind of vox pop on steroids. The end result is a really great sounding tour of a neighborhood.
Even though the show is successful, they decided to throw all the cards in the air and sign up for Project Catapult from PRX. Catapult is an opportunity for a handful of station-based podcasts to come together over the course of a few months and talk shop. What’s missing from our show? How can we tell stories better? How do we build audience? Is there a way to be sustainable? How many episodes should we produce a month? How long should they be? Every aspect of the podcast is fair game for discussion.
I spoke to Aaron and Wendel while they were smack dab in the middle of a one-week boot camp held at PRX’s Podcast Garage. Already they were percolating with new ideas for the podcast.
On this episode of HowSound, Aaron and Wendel introduce the show — what it sounds like, the rationale for their approach, etc. Then, in a few months, after they complete Project Catapult, I’ll have them back to hear what’s changed.