‘The Pub’ #78: N’Jeri Eaton, NPR’s new program acquisition manager, live at PRPD

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Clockwise from top, host Adam Ragusea, NPR’s N’Jeri Eaton, AIR’s Sue Schardt​, UnderCurrents host Gregg McVicar

Clockwise from top: host Adam Ragusea, NPR’s N’Jeri Eaton, AIR’s Sue Schardt, UnderCurrents host Gregg McVicar. (Images from Facebook Live video)

If you want NPR to pick up your radio show or podcast, you’ll want to pay attention to N’Jeri Eaton, NPR’s senior manager for program acquisitions. Eaton and her colleagues plan to launch an online portal in October for content creators — both those who work at NPR and those who don’t — to pitch ideas for new shows that NPR might help produce or distribute.

This is a far cry from a few years ago, when NPR was trying to get out of the business of distributing other people’s content.

Eaton discussed the new pitch portal during a live recording of The Pub at the 2016 Public Radio Program Directors conference in Phoenix, where she also announced a major expansion of NPR’s Story Lab, the network’s content innovation unit.

A veteran of public television documentary presenter Independent Lens, Eaton thinks it will be much easier for her to find and cultivate creators and programs for NPR.

“The barrier to getting your documentary film to the point where someone will be able to look at it [to consider funding it] is so high,” Eaton told me. With audio programming, she said, “the cost barrier is not there, and so things are able to get off the ground so much quicker.”

Also on the show this week, I contemplate the costs of doing “edgy” programming (and the costs of not doing it), with the help of hilarious listener-complaint stories submitted by OETA’s Cassie Gage and KMFA’s Chris Johnson, and one from KBIA’s Nathan Lawrence about a lady who thought her horses didn’t like Tom Ashbrook. Seriously.

You can also watch our Facebook Live video of the show:

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We welcome your feedback on the show: You can reach me at adam@current.org or @aragusea on Twitter; my supervising producer at Current, Mike Janssen, is at mike@current.org; and you can contact Current generally at news@current.org or @currentpubmedia on Twitter.

If you’d like to offer a comment to be used in the program, please send on-mic tape (recorded in a studio, with a kit, a smartphone, anything) to adam@current.org either as an attachment or through Google Drive. Please keep it short!

Adam Ragusea hosts Current’s weekly podcast The Pub and is a journalist in residence and visiting assistant professor at Mercer University’s Center for Collaborative Journalism.

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