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Out in the Bay

In this podcast Eric Jansen talks about Out in the Bay - a weekly queer radio show in San Francisco.

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The podcast "Out in the Bay," recorded in San Francisco on June 26, 2008, features Eric Jansen discussing the weekly queer radio show with the same name. The show that aired throughout the 2000s provided a platform for LGBTQ+ voices in a media landscape that often lacked such representation. Jansen, who also produced another successful public radio program called "Forum," conceived "Out in the Bay" because of the void in queer-focused radio shows in the Bay Area. Despite initial rejections from stations KQED and KALW, the timing eventually aligned with KALW's opening for a 15-minute slot, which later expanded to a half-hour broadcast, airing twice weekly.

"Out in the Bay" faced significant challenges in getting radio stations to adopt the program. Traditional public radio stations were hesitant to air new programming, especially on LGBTQ+ topics, possibly fearing financial risks or the show's perceived niche appeal. Funding and sponsorships are crucial aspects of public radio, and the rules regarding sponsor messages are stringent. Jansen elaborates on the delicate balance of presenting sponsors in a way that aligns with public radio guidelines without direct endorsement or promotional content. Despite these hurdles, personal connections and persistence led to the program's inception, highlighting the importance of networking within the media industry.

In terms of content, Jansen describes the show's focus on a blend of public affairs, entertainment, and personal storytelling. While its purpose is not explicitly to advocate for queer rights, the show naturally leans towards promoting acceptance and understanding of the LGBTQ+ community. Jansen candidly admits that although the show's bias is evident, the focus is on individuals' narratives more than political debate.

Listeners' reception of "Out in the Bay" has generally been positive, with feedback from both LGBTQ+ and straight communities. The program has faced creative and financial challenges, particularly as unpaid labor. Jansen and co-producer Marilyn Pittman's devotion to the show is tempered by the reality of the need for financial stability, especially in an expensive city like San Francisco.

Looking forward, "Out in the Bay" aims to reach a broader audience by syndicating to other stations and potentially expanding to an hour-long format, although this ambition hinges on securing additional funding. The show has begun to receive interest from other parts of the country, signaling potential for growth. Jansen expresses a willingness to broaden the team and bring in volunteer or paid producers to maintain and improve the quality of the show's content.

In summary, "Out in the Bay" has been a pioneering queer radio show in San Francisco, overcoming initial resistance from public radio stations to provide a critical platform for LGBTQ+ voices. While facing financial and logistical obstacles, the show has built a significant audience and looks forward to broader dissemination and potential program expansion.

This summary is created using Generative AI. Although it is based on the recording's transcription, it may contain errors or omissions. Click here to learn more about how this summary was created.

Record date:26th June 2008
Interviewer:Gareth Watkins
Location:San Francisco, United States of America
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Archive:The master recording is archived at the Alexander Turnbull Library (OHDL-003823).