After getting his B.A. from Oberlin College in 1989, Alex Blumberg worked as a science teacher for several years and then ventured into the world of public radio.
As a freelance radio reporter, Alex contributed to This American Life, the Savvy Traveller and Chicago Public Radio. He was the executive producer of the public radio show This American Life from 1999 to 2014, then from 2007 to 2014 he was the executive producer of the television version of This American Life. The podcast is one of the most popular in the nation with over 1 million downloads per week.
Alex co-hosted NPR’s “Planet Money” podcast in collaboration with Adam Davidson, NPR’s economics correspondent, which still posts 2 new episodes each week, and has done radio documentaries on many topics, including: life aboard a US aircraft carrier, teenage Steve Forbes supporters, and prisoners staging a production of Hamlet.
A recipient of the George Polk Award in Radio Reporting in 2008, Alex’s reporting with Adam Davison for a show entitled “The Giant Pool of Money”, explained the very complex chain of events that led to the subprime mortgage crisis by interviewing participants at each sector of the crisis. He also won first place at the 2002 Third Coast International Audio Festival for his story “Yes, There is a Baby” and his story on clinical medical ethicists won the 1999 Public Radio News Directors Incorporated (PRNDI) award for best radio documentary.
Gimlet Media, Alex’s latest venture, was founded in August 2014 with Matthew Lieber. Gimlet media is a podcasting business, which focuses on narrative journalism and storytelling. The first show on their new network, Startup, is a podcast which documents the launching of their podcast business.
TUNE IN to this episode to hear Alex chat with Steve and Mary about his life, career and how every great story starts with listening.
In This Episode
1 – Alex Has His Own Wikipedia; George Polk Award Recipient; NPR Can Be A Little Stodgy2 – Reinvention Radio On Gimlet Media; From Bagger To CEO; To Entertain With Only A Mic Is Very Hard; How To Monetize A Podcast3 – Raised $6 Million In Capital And Invested It All Into The Business; The Chicago NPR Scene