The public radio group, which bought local news outlet LAist last year, wants to build on its recent podcasts including earthquake podcast The Big One and Misha Euceph’s Tell Them, I Am.
It is the first major initiative from ex-Nickelodeon President Herb Scannell, who joined SCPR as President and Chief Executive Officer earlier this year. Bromstad, who has been brought on as a senior adviser to LAist Studios, will oversee its first development slate. She was previously President, Primetime Entertainment for NBC and Universal Television Studios, working on titles including 30 Rock, The Office and Friday Night Lights.
The company is aiming to produce three types of podcasts: stories inspired by LA, factual and fictional narrative shows inspired by Southern California and stories anchored by SCPR’s own journalism. It has called for pitches from the creative community. LAist Studios is helped by the support of SCPR listeners and donations including a $1.5M donation from former SCPR board chair Gordon Crawford and his wife Dona.
“With LAist Studios, we are making a commitment to telling stories that go beyond the surface to reflect the rich cultural landscape of Los Angeles, embrace the city’s unmatched eye toward diversity and inclusion, and showcase the resolve and hustle emblematic of Angelenos,” said Scannell. “Los Angeles is the American City of the next 20 years, and we want to use this as an opportunity to champion its forward-thinking mentality.”
“This year, we have found success with podcasts like The Big One and Tell Them, I Am – both of which were uniquely LA in tone, but spoke to a large national and international audience, showing that the issues that matter to Angelenos matter everywhere, and that the fascination with LA-centric stories is universal,” added Kristen Muller, Chief Content Officer of SCPR. “Future projects will do the same, embracing individuals and stories that are reshaping and redefining what it means to be American. We want to hear from and partner with them to provide the resources that will help bring their ideas to life.”