WNYC Studios Announces Second Edition of WERK IT!

WNYC Studios Announces Second Edition of WERK IT!  
A Women’s Podcast Festival

“WERK IT” to Convene Established and Aspiring Women Hosts and Producers in Audio and Digital Media
For a Two-Day Slate of Panels, Discussions and Live Tapings
Thursday, June 16 and Friday, June 17

Speakers Include 2 Dope Queens’ Phoebe Robinson, Note To Self’s Manoush Zomorodi, Embedded’s Kelly McEvers, Serial’s Kate Bilinksi, and
Another Round’s Tracy Clayton

Festival Kicks off with a Live Public Taping of
WNYC Studios’ 2 Dope Queens on Wednesday, June 15


(May 20, 2016 – New York, NY) – For the second year in a row, WNYC Studios, the premier producer of top iTunes-rated podcasts including 2 Dope Queens, RadiolabFreakonomics, Note to Self, and Death, Sex & Money will host WERK IT: A Women’s Podcast Festival.

WERK IT will take place on June 16-17 in The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space at WNYC, convening women across all stages of their careers in audio and digital media—established hosts, experienced producers, and the best and brightest rising talent—to explore all aspects vital to women and podcasting. Panels, debates, mentoring, and story workshops will focus on topics such as sound design, booking guests, making challenging editorial decisions, social media musts, and honing one’s voice.

Speakers will include Phoebe Robinson (2 Dope Queens), Manoush Zomorodi (Note to Self), Kelly McEvers (Embedded), Megan Tan (Millennial), Kate Bilinski (Serial), Tracy Clayton (Another Round), Mitra Kaboli (The Heart), Maria Hinojosa (Latino USA), Melissa Block (NPR News), Jenna Weiss-Berman (Pineapple Street Media), Gretchen Rubin (Happier), Molly Webster (Radiolab), Julie Shapiro (Radiotopia), and Janet Mock (author and activist), among many others. 

Attending the festival are over 100 women—culled from 672 applications—from across the United States and eight countries. Participants include professionals from Public Radio Exchange (PRX), The New York Times, Slate, ESPN, Earwolf, Vox, The Moth, The Huffington Post, Columbia Journalism School, American Public Media, New York Magazine, and Gimlet, as well as women working in fields beyond journalism.

The festival kicks off on Wednesday, June 15 with an opening night live taping of WNYC Studios’ comedy and storytelling podcast 2 Dope Queens. Co-Hosts Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams will be joined on stage by performers including Jen Kirkman (I’m Gonna Die Alone (And I Feel Fine)), Natalie Morales (The Grinder), and viral music video creator, Awkwafina. Additional tapings include WBUR’s Modern Love: The Podcast Live on Thursday, June 16, based on the popular New York Times column, and Earwolf’s comedy hit, Ronna & Beverly on Friday, June 17. These evening events are open to the public; tickets are available at www.wnyc.org/werkit.  

The daytime sessions are closed to industry attendees only, but are available via live video webcast and on-demand streaming at www.wnyc.org/werkit. The schedule is listed below. 

“Women's voices are underrepresented in the world of podcasting, as is the case on almost every other media platform,” said Laura Walker, President and CEO, New York Public Radio, which includes WNYC Studios. “WNYC Studios launched Werk It last year to bring urgency and focus to the imbalance and to seize the opportunity to correct it more quickly than in other industries. At the inaugural conference, I issued a challenge: that podcasting reach a parity of female and male hosts within the next several years. We’re thrilled to see the progress so far—including new women’s voices on both sides of the mic at WNYC Studios—and look forward to both another galvanizing festival and continued momentum around this ambitious but achievable goal.”

WERK IT is presented as part of WNYC Studios' Women's Voices Initiative, which was spearheaded by Walker in response to the overwhelming number of male-hosted podcasts dominating the charts across various podcast aggregators. For more information on WERK IT, visit http://www.wnyc.org/werkit/.

Werk It is funded in part by a leadership grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, with additional support from The Harnisch Foundation.  




WHAT            WNYC Studios’ newest hosts, Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams, kick off WERK IT with two 2 Dope Queens shows featuring some of the funniest female voices in comedy: Sara Benincasa (Real Artists Have Day Jobs), Jen Kirkman (I’m Gonna Die Alone (And I Feel Fine)), Janine Brito (Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell), Natalie Morales (The Grinder), viral music video creator Awkwafina, and Jackie Kashian (This Will Make an Excellent Horcrux).

WHEN:           June 15 at 7pm and 9:30pm

WHERE:         Le Poisson Rouge (158 Bleecker Street, New York, NY)

HOW:             Tickets are $20 and further information is available here.



WHAT:           WNYC hosts a live taping of Modern Love, a new audio experience produced by WBUR and based on The New York Times’ popular series of weekly reader-submitted essays. Exploring the joys and tribulations of love, host Meghna Chakrabarti (WBUR) and “Modern Love” editor Daniel Jones (The New York Times) go deep, sharing some of the best stories about love today. Modern Love: The Podcast adds new dimension to the popular New York Times column, with readings by notable personalities and updates from the essayists themselves.

WHEN:           June 16 at 7pm

WHERE:         The Greene Space, 44 Charlton Street, new York, NY (corner of Varick Street)

HOW:             Tickets are $25 (includes a drink), available here.



WHAT:           WNYC hosts Ronna Glickman & Beverly Ginsberg, the stars of their own hit podcast on the Earwolf Network and the best-selling co-authors of You’ll Do A Little Better Next Time: A Guide to Marriage and Re-marriage for Jewish Singles (“It says Jewish in the name — but it’s for everyone!”). These outspoken fifty somethings from Boston, who can be seen regularly at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles, dispense their unique brand of relationship advice while interviewing/interrogating celebrity guests.

WHEN:           June 17 at 7pm

WHERE:         The Greene Space, 44 Charlton Street, new York, NY (corner of Varick Street)

HOW:             Tickets are $25 (includes a drink), available here.



10am–10:20am / Opening Remarks

Laura Walker, President & CEO, New York Public Radio, will welcome all participants to the festival, followed by a keynote address by comedian Michelle Buteau.

10:20am–10:50am / Speed Dating for Women Podcasters

WNYC Radio Rookies bring their vox wisdom to this unique ice breaker. Hosted by Rookies’ Executive Producer Kaari Pitkin and Rookies graduate and Brooklyn Deep Managing Editor Veralyn Williams.

11:00am–11:45am / How to Be Heard

Deciding to make a podcast is just the first step. In this panel, hear from women who have found their voices, both literally at the mic and figuratively in terms of branding, marketing, and cultivating an audience. Manoush Zomorodi (WNYC Studios’ Note to Self) leads a conversation with Megan Tan (Millennial), Marlo Mack (How to be a Girl), Gretchen Rubin (Happier), and Andrea Silenzi (Why Oh Why?).

11:45am-12:15pm / Use Your Ears

Mitra Kaboli, producer for Radiotopia’s The Heart, and Kate Bilinski, sound designer for Serial, do a deep dive on sound design.

1:15pm–2:00pm / The Art of the Ask 

Finding the right guests and getting them booked is crucial to an interview show’s success. Hosted by Keli Goff (Political Party), producers Melissa Eagan (The Leonard Lopate Show), Katie Bishop (Death, Sex & Money), and Arwa Gunja (Freakonomics) will share their tips for sussing out the best gets, writing a good pitch, building relationships with talent managers and publicists, and preparing guests for an appearance.

2:00pm-3:00pm / Interview Your Brains Out

Three different hosts interview the same subject live on stage! All participants will then share tactics and approaches and the guest will tell us how she felt about their questions. With Amanda Aronczyk (WNYC Studios’ Only Human), Wendy Zukerman (Science Vs), and Melissa Block (NPR).

3:30pm-5:00pm / Stations of the Pod

Lightning fast 5-10 minute presentations by WNYC experts covering data and metrics, graphics and RSS feeds, social media and marketing, monetization, legal, and more. Plus, answers to questions solicited in advance from festival participants.


JUNE 17th

10:00am–10:20am / Opening Remarks

Welcome remarks from Patricia de Stacy Harrison, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. 

10:20am-11am / Journalism in Pod Form

Podcasting and journalism are not mutually exclusive, and host Kelly McEvers (Embedded and All Things Considered) is here to tell you why. She’ll lead a discussion with Maria Hinojosa (Latino USA), Hanna Rosin (Invisibilia), Francesca Panetta (The Guardian) about the particulars -- and importance -- of journalism in the digital world.

11:00am-11:30am / Anatomy of an Episode

Kelsey Padgett (Radiolab) takes us on the roller coaster ride that is making a deep-dive audio documentary. What does it take to make a fully realized segment? How many drafts are too many? And why are editors so hard on you? (Spoiler: it’s because they love you.)

11:30am-12:00pm / Going Solo
AIR (Association of Independents in Radio) convenes an honest conversation about getting your work out there, including tips for negotiating intellectual property, the best practices for stations that want to benefit from indie creativity, and the smartest ways for indies to capitalize on broadcast and station resources. With Sue Schardt (AIR), Stacia Brown (Baltimore: The Rise of Charm City), and Jeanette Woods (WHYY).

1:00pm-1:30pm / Another Round Presents: Stacy’s Career Corner

BuzzFeed’s Another Round co-host Tracy Clayton and regular contributor Stacy-Marie Ishmael are here to answer your career questions live.

2:45pm-3:30pm / Lady Baller$

Brittany Luse (For Colored Nerds/Sampler) hosts a conversation about what makes a great podcast with women who are calling the shots about what gets made and how it all goes down, including Jenna Weiss-Berman (Pineapple Street Media), Julie Shapiro (Radiotopia), and Paula Szuchman (WNYC Studios).

3:30pm-4:30pm / Phoebe Robinson and Janet Mock

Phoebe Robinson, co-host of WNYC Studios’ 2 Dope Queens, in discussion with author, activist and television host Janet Mock (Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More).



WNYC Studios is the premier producer of on-demand and broadcast audio. Born from the team that created some of the most critically acclaimed and popular podcasts of the last decade, WNYC Studios is leading the new golden age in audio with high-quality storytelling that informs, inspires, and delights millions of intellectually curious and highly engaged listeners across digital, mobile, and broadcast platforms. WNYC Studios creates some of the most beloved audio series, including “Radiolab,” “Freakonomics Radio,” “Death, Sex & Money,” “Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin,” “Note to Self,” “On the Media,” “The Takeaway,” and “Studio 360.” Their programs include personal narratives, deep journalism, interviews that reveal, and smart entertainment as varied and intimate as the human voice itself. For more information, visit http://wnycstudios.wnyc.org