"Getting to Yes: The Art of the Pitch"

AIR's Pitch Panel @ Third Coast Conference 2014


Producers, reporters, journalists, makers prepare yourselves for another offering of AIR's Pitch Panel.

AIR's annual Pitch Panel goes behind the scenes and soundwaves to put producers directly in front of editors. We'll choose up to six producers to pitch a story in front of a live audience during AIR's Pitch Panel.

Ann Heppermann returns as our Pitch Editor/Panel Moderator at the 2014 Third Coast Conference. Ann will work with the selected producers in advance to refine their ideas. During the panel, each producer will make a real pitch to a real editor, and get an answer.

Each member of this year's Pitch Panel represents a show that is open to indie producers' pitches. This year's panel includes "This American Life," "All Things Considered," "UnFictional," "Latino USA," "RadioLab," and Third Coast's founding artistic director, Julie Shapiro (representing "Radiotonic").

AIR's Pitch Panels are entertaining, educational, and dependent on a lively collection of pitches and producers who are willing to stand up and ask for what they want.

If you are interested in participating, we need to hear from you before Friday, Sept. 26, 2014, at 5 p.m. PT.


How to participate:

Take a look at the editors and programs below. You'll find bios and details about what each program is looking for in a feature story. A little advice from AIR's NPR liaison Paul Ingles: "Know the show. Listen to the show online. Know the lengths of pieces they carry. Know how you fit into the whole."

We will select the best pitches from our pool, so do your research and be ready for some healthy competition.

Email your proposal to Ann Heppermann at: Put "Getting to Yes" in the subject line. DO NOT SEND YOUR PITCHES TO THE PANELISTS.


Be sure to include:

1. Which program/producer you are pitching.

2. A concise description of your story idea under 200 words.
3. A clear, thoughtful description of how it will sound, what audio elements you might include. Can you play tape during your pitch? Let us know.
4. Whether you have more than five years radio experience, or less. Specifically, what kind of experience?
5. Your contact info. How do we reach you before and during the conference?
6. Whether you've participated in an AIR pitch panel in the last three years (please include the date/venue).

You can always contact Ann with any questions at


Pitching Guidelines

Download guidelines for pitching all six of the shows.


"Getting to Yes" programs and editors:

Bob Carlson - Producer and Host, "UnFictional"
Stephanie Foo - Producer, "This American Life"
Leda Hartman - Story Editor, "Latino USA"
Alison MacAdam - Senior Editor, "All Things Considered"
Julie Shapiro - Executive Producer, "Radiotonic"
Jamie York - Senior Producer, "RadioLab"

Complete bios are available here.


Our Moderator:


Ann Heppermann is an award-winning independent radio reporter and educator. Her work has aired on numerous shows including "This American Life," "Radiolab," "99% Invisible," "Life of the Law," "Unfictional," "Studio360," "Marketplace," and many others. In 2011 she was named a United States Artists Rockefeller Fellow along with Kara Oehler. She teaches radio at Sarah Lawrence College and NYU's Narrative Journalism program. She produces the weekly podcast "Slate's Culture Gabfest" and WNYC's "Gabfest Radio" show.

If you have questions, contact Ann. Again, you'll find her at