Episode 95: Perfect Your Media Pitch for Radio with Jerome Vaughn, Radio News Director at WDET

As we get closer to Episode 100 (whaaa!?!), we’re digging deeper into publicity, publishing, and platform building for authors, speakers, and subject-matter experts, thanks to media pros like today’s guest Jerome Vaughn, News Director at WDET (Detroit’s NPR station), Michigan Journalism Hall of Famer, and 30-year veteran of the radio news industry.

You know I love a good “shop talk,” and we touch on all things Detroit radio and beyond: the end of a much-loved Black media outlet, new opportunities for Black voices in podcasting, the constant battle for diversity at NPR, the challenge of code switching — and of course, pro tips for your perfect media pitch.

You’ll also hear about: the podcast I call “the African-American TED Talks,” new and favorite Black podcasts, how to get your email pitch opened and read (instead of deleted or ignored), 2 Detroit NPR shows and what to pitch to them, why NPR rarely reports on crime, what NPR is really good about and why, how much radio time you can expect to get, and whether people still read press releases … and more!

"The press release is key. I can look at it, I can scan it, and I can say yea or nay.” – Jerome Vaughn

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Highlights From This Episode:

  • True Story: The gift from his mom that got Jerome hooked on journalism — when he was 5
  • What happened to Black radio station WQBH?
  • An NPR station’s constant battle for diversity
  • About the podcast I call “the African-American TED Talks”
  • What NPR is really good about…
  • What “code switching” is and where to learn about its impact
  • The difference between NPR and PBS
  • Pro Tip! Why your email pitch subject line has to be tight and right
  • Your perfect media pitch — 3 more things to know
  • Why NPR doesn’t focus on crime
  • Perfect Example: 2 Detroit NPR shows and what to pitch them
  • Pop Quiz! Do people still read press releases? 🤔
  • Long story short — how much radio time can you expect?
  • What’s Next: An international fellowship and a new mini-podcast for Detroit


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