The Spot: Short & Sonic Gambles | KALW

The Spot: Short & Sonic Gambles

Jul 10, 2016

This week on KALW's showcase for the best stories from public radio podcasts and independent radio producers...

Short is Beautiful,” from the podcast How Sound, originally aired June 2016.

The long-running podcast How Sound focuses on the unseen work behind some of public radio’s best and most popular stories. Including reporter and producer interviews, and a lot of insider knowledge about how to make a radio story really shine. 

Recently, How Sound’s host Rob Rosenthal interviewed two folks who are well known around KALW’s studios: Chris Hoff and Sam Harnett. Chris and Sam produce the podcast The World According to Sound. And in this episode of How Sound, they drive home the point that for radio to be good, it doesn’t necessarily have to be long, it just needs to be sonic.

You can hear The World According to Sound every Friday on NPR's Morning Edition right here on KALW. You can also subscribe to their podcast at

If you want to listen to more behind-the-scenes stories about some of the most interesting radio stories around, subscribe to How Sound on your podcatcher of choice, or listen to their archives directly at

Beat Street,” produced by Chris Sewell for the Third Coast International Audio Festival Short Docs Challenge, originally aired August 2009.

Every year, the Third Coast International Audio Festival asks everyone, from radio rookies to seasoned producers, to create stories that can only be told through sound, that also must be under three minutes in length. This story from Third Coast’s annual Short Docs’ competition takes us to a Chicago street corner, and bathes us in the sound of a place and the life of one particularly musical man.

You can listen to thousands of short and sonic stories at, and you’ll find Third Coast’s Re:sound podcast on iTunes.

Lost Wages,” produced by Scott Carrier, originally aired in 1989.

Even if you have a little bit longer than three minutes, a good radio story is shaped by the variety of sound that a producer uses to tell it. Radio Producer Scott Carrier stayed up all night, traveling in and out of Las Vegas casinos, meeting people who were trying their luck at tables and machines throughout the wee hours of the evening.

Scott launched a podcast in 2015, showcasing sounds and scenes he hears in his life nowadays. It’s called Home of the Brave, and you can hear more at

This week's episode featured music from: Black Moth Super Rainbow, Django Reinhardt, Sister O.M. Terrell, and Mulatu Astatke.

If you have a suggestion for a podcast or an audio project we should feature, please drop us a line at

Tune in next week for another episode of The Spot, only on 91.7 KALW San Francisco.