Radio is a beautiful medium. It brings people news and information wherever they are — in the kitchen, in the car, while walking the dog.
But people no longer have to be dependent on a radio schedule to get their news. Instead, they can download a bunch of programs and listen whenever it’s convenient. We decided we wanted to provide a service for our audience that allows them to get their daily dose of local news on their own schedule. That’s why we developed The Gateway.
The Gateway is a eight-to-10-minute podcast that gets delivered every weekday. It is full of the top stories of the day and includes at least one longer story that explores issues, people or events important to our region.
The newsroom brainstormed several options for the best way to create this podcast. We surveyed our listeners to see what they wanted in a daily podcast. We learned that people like to listen to news in the morning — they may couple listening to NPR’s Up First with downloading a local show. They also let us know that they don’t want anything too long, meaning longer than 20 minutes.
We decided that Wayne Pratt would be a natural host for the show — after all, he’s already up at zero-dark-thirty in the morning and his personality and dry sense of humor would provide the right tone for the project. We then reached out to Ryan McNeely of Adult Fur to compose theme music for The Gateway.
One thing we knew early in the planning process is that we didn’t want to burden Wayne with having to get to work even earlier than he already does. Rather, we would sacrifice the 5 a.m. newscast, so that Wayne would have an extra 30 minutes to produce the podcast.
For two months, Wayne practiced the best way to format The Gateway and what his workflow should be. By May 6, we had the details complete, but we wanted to give Wayne time to practice putting the podcast together in real time, which is why the 5 a.m. newscast stopped running a week before The Gateway’s official launch on May 13.
We look forward to hearing from listeners about what they think of the podcast. Please send your thoughts to us via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
WHAT IT IS: Just as listeners download The Daily and NPR’s Up First, they should also get their daily dose of St. Louis news from The Gateway. This eight-to-10-minute podcast will give listeners a long-form story combined with other news of the day they should know as their day gets underway.
WHO SHOULD LISTEN: People throughout the St. Louis region who want to stay abreast of issues and events happening in the area. But first, it’s for people who already love NPR but aren’t aware of all that we do.