The finalists have been selected in the Public Radio Talent Quest. And while I’ve been keeping tabs on the contest since it started, I was so busy last week that I completely missed it.
Here’s something else you may have missed. While the Public Radio Exchange was arranging a public contest that attracted over 1400 entrants, Launch, another group of public radio veterans was holed up in semi-secrecy conducting a parallel process. And so six finalists have been selected to produce pilot public radio programs, not three.
- Mark Bittman – Cookbook author, PBS host, and newspaper columnist. We have his book How to Cook Everything in our kitchen.
- Majora Carter – Founder of Sustainable South Bronx
- Julia Sweeney – Actress and comedian.
- Al Letson – Poet, playwright, director, author, actor.
- Glynn Washington – Director of the Council for Responsible Public Investment.
- Rebecca Watson – founder of Skepchick magazine and the Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe podcast.
Each finalist will get $10,000 and the chance to produce a public radio pilot program. It’d be great to see every one get picked up and distributed nationally, but something in my gut tells me that’s not going to happen. Not that each of these hosts isn’t capable of carrying a show, but there’s just only so much room on the dial.
Hopefully one day podcasting will be a bit more profitable and we’ll see talented people like these finalists producing high quality programs that would sound at home on any public radio station — but distributing them online with limited underwriting spots.