KZMU News and Public Affairs Director Molly Marcello talked to me a while back about the prospect of doing some work for KZMU. She asked me about it because I had actually originally gone to her, looking for a job last year, when I couldn’t handle Sena any more but wanted to stay in Moab.
They didn’t have the budget to hire me full time when I asked then, and I think the question prompted them to look at their freelancing budget. They since figured it out, reached back out to me about doing some work for them, so now I am waiting on my publisher to give me the green light.
Here’s how I imagine this happening: I write a story for The T-I, and it’s the kind of story I want to also broadcast on radio. Maybe I have some spoken quotes that I could cut into a radio version of the story, or maybe it’s just a big story that I want The T-I’s name behind.
I write the story for The T-I, we publish it online (behind the paywall, if it’s that kind of story) and maybe also save it to print before being aired. I then record and send KZMU an audio version of the story — not that much labor if I already have the story scripted for reading.
I wouldn’t do this for every story I write, both for business purposes (we want The T-I to have exclusive content that draws people to subscribe) and practical purposes (I don’t have time to record every story I write). I would do this for some stories, and it would benefit The T-I by creating exposure for our reporting.
The sign-off would be something like, “For The Times-Independent, I’m Carter Pape. Visit moabtimes.com for more stories from The T-I.” The introduction to the story by Molly or whoever would be, “Here’s Carter Pape with The Times-Independent with the story.” It would always be very clearly branded as our coverage because it is our coverage.
We would be syndicating rather than creating KZMU exclusives or duplicating each issue on air. That deep dive into one part of our weekly coverage, in combination with the previews of the rest of our coverage (Friday news round-ups), would create more affinity to The T-I brand and generate interest in subscriptions among the radio-listener audience.
And I’d make an extra buck. And get to do radio work again.