The VP, Podcasts, Topic Studios oversees the development and production of podcasts for Topic Studios. The VP creates and executes the creative/editorial vision and strategy for Podcasts, and works across departments and with partners to produce shows and take them to market. This role will be a thought leader for the Studio’s podcast strategy and partner with the EVP, Topic Studios in shaping and driving the business within overall Studio strategy. Along with Studio verticals in TV, Film and Documentary, Podcasts will align with Topic Studio’s creative vision and revenue goals. With a deep understanding of the podcast marketplace, the VP will optimize our approach to sales and sponsorship, brand building, and identifying areas for growth in a rapidly changing industry; commission shows and strategize sales and marketing plans that will break through the noise in the current marketplace, and scale the business as we grow it.
The role will report to the EVP Topic Studios in New York City. The VP of Podcasts, Topic Studios will further build the company’s presence in the podcasting marketplace, and establish and lead an intimate department in the company’s NY office. Additionally, the Senior Producer, Podcasts, based in the Studio’s sister company The Intercept, will split report to the VP and provide podcasts based on Intercept IP (currently running and to-be-developed) for the VP to bring to market.
The ideal candidate will have a proven sales track record at a premium podcast outlet; sophisticated taste and superior development skills; be a self-starter with a book of existing creative and buyer contacts that enable them to hit the ground running; possess the desire and drive to build a brand and a portfolio of business; excellent communication skills; and will thrive in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment.
- Create an editorial vision for a podcast slate of the highest quality that creates a distinctive voice, character and brand for Topic podcasts.
- Develop and execute strategy for Studio’s podcast distribution and monetization, including sponsorship approach for ad-supported podcasts.
- Partner with other Studio verticals (TV, Film, Documentary) to create podcasts from Studio IP, cross-promote shows, and provide source material for shows in other formats derived from Topic podcasts.
- Pitch programming to distributors for sale.
- Cultivate talent and creators that help shape Topic voice/brand, including bringing new talent to the medium.
- Guide the development process with talent and production teams, including pilot production, giving editorial notes and feedback throughout the production process (scripts, rough cuts, fine cuts, promos).
- Hire prodcos to projects and/or creating production teams
- Build and manage relationships with podcast production companies to partner on projects
- Curate a selective podcast slate of the highest quality in both fiction and nonfiction genres: solicit and evaluate pitches and submissions; generate ideas; develop show ideas with internal and external talent.
- Oversee pilot/sizzle production and creation of pitch materials for projects in development.
- Guide production partners on schedule, workflow, and budgeting for projects; audio deliverables and standards and ensuring compliance.
- Manage budget for the podcast department.
- Coordinate marketing & PR with talent, prodcos, and internal marketing/PR team (e.g., key art, social media strategy, podcast websites, press).
- Oversee launch logistics with distribution partners (e.g. promos, rollout details).
- Consult with Topic Facilities on the creation & management of three in-house podcast studios (NY, DC, LA).
- Collaborate closely with Topic’s outside podcast agent on go to market strategy for slate.
- Maintain Studio audio equipment supply and overseeing loaning out for projects.
- Coordinate audio distribution with partners (e.g. Art19, Megaphone, etc).
Background & Qualifications:
- Minimum 8 years of experience in podcast/audio industry.
- Minimum 5 years in a producer/creative executive/seller capacity in the audio business, and preferably experience in each of the three roles.
- Self-starter with ability to build and run a sector of a business.
- Excellent knowledge of podcast outlets and strong relationships with buyers
- Comfortable with a high degree of autonomy
- Command of producers, production companies, writers and talent in the space as potential attachments and partners, good eye for talent
- A strong creative presence that possesses a strategic mind-set and has the ability to promote a collaborative environment.
- Experience in generating and taking pitches
- Creative storytelling expertise and extensive hands-on experience giving notes to creators on outlines and scripts
- Comfort with a wide range of genres of material
Topic is the entertainment studio and ambitious storytelling brand dedicated to supporting creators at the forefront of culture. From Academy Award®-winning films (Spotlight) to television (Losers), digital (aka Wyatt Cenac) and podcasts (Anthem, Missing Richard Simmons), we explore a wide range of subject matter, both fiction and nonfiction. Our approach – challenging, compelling and unconventional –reflects our commitment to discovering and amplifying independent new voices and supporting established ones.
About First Look Media
First Look Media is a new-model media company devoted to supporting independent voices, from fearless investigative journalism and documentary filmmaking to smart, provocative entertainment. Launched in 2013 by eBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar, First Look Media was created with the belief that independent perspectives are vital to both a vibrant culture and a thriving democracy.
First Look Media is currently in the market with its flagship properties, The Intercept, Field of Vision, and the soon to launch Topic SVOD service, and plans to continue expanding its mission of supporting independent voices via a variety of new brands, formats and platforms as well as through foundational technology helping creators and audiences develop, distribute, discover and connect with meaningful stories.
We are an Equal Opportunity Employer--people of color, people with disabilities, women, and LGBT candidates are strongly encouraged to apply; we are committed to a diverse workplace, and to supporting our staff with ongoing career development opportunities.