In March, Marketplace’s David Weinberg was the guest at our monthly SpeakEasy event. He and host Eve Troeh talked all things radio, from his time making stories for WWOZ, to pitching to national shows and podcasts, to moving to L.A. and working for a daily program. Hear an edited version of the evening, or dive into specific clips, all below.
HOW I GOT INTO RADIO
Highlight: “I heard this story on the radio called 'The Test' by Scott Carrier… it just changed me. I had this sort of awakening. I was like ‘Oh my God, this is amazing, how do I figure this thing out?’ And I went to the library and he had a book there and it was collection of his stories of radio and print. And I sat down and read the whole book in the one sitting at the library and I said ‘This is it, this what I’m going to do.’”
WHAT ATTRACTS ME TO A STORY
Highlight: “The first story I did that aired on NPR is about JT Nesbitt. JT was building a car, taking a car that had been destroyed by Katrina and trying to get it to break a world land speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats as sort of his revenge against Katrina. He was also a bartender at Flanagan’s where my friend worked, and my friend was like ‘Hey my buddy’s screening his documentary at One Eyed Jack's. Let's go see it.' So that was one of those moments where you see this film on screen and you’re like ‘Oh, this guy's amazing and he lives down the street… I should probably go talk to him.’”
HOW TO PITCH TO NATIONAL
Highlight: ‘We’re kind of in a golden age right now where you don’t have to get your stuff out through big news organizations. Like how I made my living as a freelancer was I would do a story for the local station but then I would sell it three more times. I would sell it to Marketplace and do that version of it, and then sell it to 99% Invisible or some other podcast that has a budget. And there’s a ton of these new shows popping up now that have budgets to pay freelancers.”
A TYPICAL DAY AT MARKETPLACE
Highlight: “I get up early in the morning and I read the news and I send my pitches to the editors (this is what I think we should talk about today, this is what’s topical today). Then I get in at about 8:30 a.m. and I get my assignment from my editor, which means I have four hours to put the story together. We do the show live at 2 p.m., so yeah it’s a lot of pressure. The first spot I did I finished at 1:57 p.m., and they were like, ‘Don’t ever do that again!'”
WEINBERG WITH STORY SUBJECT (AND FRIEND) JT NESBITT
Weinberg plays an excerpt of a new story he’s working on for Marketplace. It features JT Nesbitt, the first person Weinberg ever did a story on, over seven years ago. After the clip, Nesbitt joins Weinberg on stage.
Here, host Eve Troeh and guest David Weinberg answer two questions from the audience:
1.Why is Marketplace in L.A. and not New York?
2.The financial world is a perceived as a cutthroat world; how does the financial world perceive Marketplace compared to MSNBC, etc?