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Screen Disruptor—The Rise of Children’s Podcasts

April 25, 2018 @ 6:30 pm EDT

With US children spending an average of 48 minutes a day on mobile devices, the definition of “family dynamics” has shifted to include more time spent by individuals immersed in their own screens. But what if the pendulum swung back to a time when media was consumed by the whole family as a unit? Well, that may be happening already. Responding to a growing demand for kid-friendly podcasts over the last year, producers in this space are offering families a welcome alternative to screen time. Meredith Halpern Ranzer, David Kreizman, Lee Overtree, and Andy Bowers will talk business models, creative and production processes and benefits.

 About our Speakers

Meredith Halpern Ranzer, Tinkercast’s Chief Executive Tinkerer, is an Emmy-nominated children’s media executive. Before joining Tinkercast, Meredith was a key member of the start-up team responsible for building the brand of Sprout, from 2005 to 2015. She held many positions in her tenure including VP of Creative, VP of Alternative Programming and Executive Producer and was responsible for developing and overseeing branding, promotions, shorts, specials and original programming blocks, including Sunny Side Up and The Good Night Show. Prior to joining Sprout, Meredith learned the answer to the burning question of her childhood when she found out how to get, how to get to Sesame Street where she worked for eight years as a producer and editor. She is a founding member and on the board of directors of Children’s Media Association.


David Kreizman is an award-winning showrunner, writer and producer across television and digital media platforms. David is a co-creator and head writer of the hit middle-grade audio program, “The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel”, winner of a 2016 Peabody Award and recently optioned for television. Earlier this year, David co-founded Gen-Z Media, where he serves as Chief Creative Officer, overseeing the development and production of more than a dozen original scripted audio podcasts for kids including the Ghost of Jessica Majors on the Pinna network and the bi-weekly serial, Six Minutes. David was head writer for the long-running daytime drama, Guiding Light, where he led his team to both an Emmy and Writers Guild Award before moving on to be headwriter of All My Children, As the World Turns and WWE, World Wrestling Entertainment. His debut YA novel, The Year They Fell, is set to be published by Macmillan next year. David lives in Maplewood, NJ, with his wife and three kids.


Lee Overtree is co-founder and Artistic Director of the Story Pirates and is the producer and co-host of The Story Pirates Podcast from Gimlet Media. Along with co-writer Hunter Bell, he received a Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Book of a Musical for Found at the Atlantic Theater Company. Lee has directed at the Williamstown Theater Festival, Center Theater Group, the Philadelphia Theatre Company, New York Stage & Film, the American Music Theater Project, Goodspeed Musicals, the Kennedy Center, the Geffen Playhouse, Berkshire Theater Group, the Mystic Aquarium, the American Museum of Natural History in New York City and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. He has taught at the Atlantic Acting School and currently serves on the faculty of the National Theater Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Center, where he teaches improvisation. Lee is an alumnus of Northwestern University and member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers union.

Andy Bowers is the Chief Content Officer and Co-Founder of Panoply Media, and the creator in 2005 of Slate’s podcasting network, one of the first professional networks in the medium. He has overseen the creation and production of dozens of original podcasts, including Revisionist History with Malcolm Gladwell and The Message, one of podcasting’s first original dramas. He also helped create Pinna, Panoply’s audio service for children. As an NPR correspondent from 1991-2003, Bowers reported on state, national and global affairs. He served as NPR’s London Bureau Chief and Moscow Bureau Chief, a White House correspondent, and a California-based national correspondent. He’s covered numerous presidential campaigns, the wars in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Chechnya, and issues affecting California and the West. In 2003 he began producing the audio programs for Slate in conjunction with NPR. Bowers is a graduate of Yale University, and lives in New York.


April 25, 2018
6:30 pm EDT
Event Category:


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