Feb 17, 2023

This week myself and other producers at Vocal Fry got wrapped up in a Twitter thread that, to be honest, probably took up too much of our time and energy.

This is the tweet that triggered us all:

The Tweet was obviously intended to create a stir and get some eyeballs, but we all fell for it. It sent us into a pit of rage.

My immediate reply was that realistically, these are the tasks of an entire team, not just one person. Fellow fry max collins also chimed in with a great comparison:

The main issue here is the idea that there’s a problem with podcast editors who "only" edit audio. It totally discounts the craft of audio production and it cheapens the industry as a whole.

There’s no way one podcast editor can do all of the work that was listed by the OP in a sustainable way. It’s also unlikely that if one person was to do all of that work within the typical podcast turnaround time, it would actually be good.

After about a year into freelancing and hitting some serious burnout, I decided that it was best for both my career and mental health to specialize in audio only.

It's the work that I really love to do. That means I’ve had to say “no” to a lot of potential clients looking for video elements for their shows and, more frequently, clients wanting me to strategize and execute entire marketing campaigns.

The main argument I see by people who claim to be lone-shark, “full service” podcast creators is that they have a “competitive edge.” Providing all of these services, and at a low cost, is how clients will pick them over other freelancers and studios.

🚨 I’m here to tell you, IT AIN’T WORTH IT. 🚨

Just because you can do everything, doesn’t mean you should. That kind of “competitive edge” presents a vulnerability to clients that won’t respect your boundaries.

It’s 2023; the era of the “yes person” is over. I’d rather create work I’m proud of and focus on crafting my skills than say “yes” to any gig that comes my way.

I can say from experience, if you specialize in a craft and get good at it, good people will pay you well for it. Work smarter, not harder.

For a breakdown of radio and podcasting roles and rates, take a look at AIR's rate guide.

What else caught our eye this week:

The CBC reported the Toronto Police Department has spent over $300,000 of taxpayer dollars on their podcast, 24 Shades of Blue (yes, that is really the name of it).

There are lots of weird pieces of this story. How strange is it that a police department has created an entire show about their own unsolved crimes? They're essentially showcasing their failures.

It makes you wonder what production company thought this was a good idea. Or did the production company spot an opportunity to make some serious cop-cash and the content didn’t really matter to begin with?

The article outlined TPD’s pride and excitement in working with Obie & Ax Inc. – the self proclaimed "largest full-service podcast production firm in North America – which then prompted the question on all of our minds: who the heck is Obie & Ax?

According to police, it's "the only podcast in Canada that will produce a sub-podcast from beginning to end including providing hosts, the set, sound, and editing for a stylized, complete product."

Which... we can think of about three other companies that do just that... but anyways. 

Read more about it here, and share your thoughts with us!

tweet of the week

jobs hot from the fryer

News Talk 980 CKNW in Vancouver is looking for a new producer. This is a full-time role that includes pitching story ideas, chasing guests, audio editing and even some air time! The deadline to apply is February 26. No payment info listed.

Could you be the next executive producer of The Current? CBC’s flagship current affairs radio program needs a new leader, and there’s definitely been some criticism that the show could use a little more self-awareness. Maybe you can help! No payment info was provided, but the deadline to apply is February 28.

CBC Newfoundland and Labrador is still looking for a permanent, full-time producer to work their three-hour current affairs show, Newfoundland Morning, in Corner Brook. Apply by February 20. 

hey freelancer!

Podcast newsletter icons Lauren Passell and Adela Mizrachi’s podcast, Feed the Queue, is back! They’re featuring shows that catch their attention, so submit your show for consideration by emailing

AIR’s Erin McGregor was just interviewed on The Audio Storyteller newsletter about breaking into the audio industry. Give it a read to learn about what her path was like and find some inspiration.

My original plan with this newsletter was to write a little love-letter to freelancing in honour of Valentine's Day. But honestly, Michal wrote about it so beautifully last week already – if you haven’t had a chance to read it, go do so!

What I did do however – in the midst of editing a podcast about AI – was ask ChatGPT to write a haiku about being a freelance podcast producer.

And if AI hands (eek) weren’t confirmation enough, I don’t think AI is coming for creatives anytime soon.

what we're listening to

I was so excited to see Let’s Make a Sci-Fi return, this time to play in the world of Rom-Coms! The first episode came out on Valentine’s Day and it did not disappoint. There's a really charming angle showcasing co-host Maddy Kelly's love of Rom-Coms that honestly had me grinning in public the whole time.

This episode also felt a little faster in its pacing compared to the first season, which was a smart way to make the familiar format feel fresh. It ends up landing on a really hilarious Rom-Com concept that I can’t wait to see come to fruition throughout the rest of the series. Congrats to fellow fry, max collins on their incredible production work on the show, I cannot wait to listen to the rest! 

what's happening at vocal fry

The fourth episode of Rights Back At You is out this week. It looks at a racial profiling case against the Halifax Regional Police and street surveillance of Black people across the country.

Listen to Rights Back At You:


We’re still looking for sources! Join us on the new season of Playing With Marbles. It's all about under-30s mental health! If you live with and were diagnosed with any of the conditions listed below when you were under the age of 30 – we want to hear from you:


OCD & body dysmorphia

Anxiety, panic disorders and phobia

Bipolar I & II

Criminalized disorders (substance and impulse control)


PTSD/Trauma-related disorders

Send us an email with a little bit about yourself and why you want to be on the podcast to

Forward to a friend

We want to hear from you! What are you looking for in your podcast news? Let us know on Twitter, Instagram, or by email at

Thanks to Emily Latimer for editing this newsletter, and to Katie Jensen for designing it.

We’ll see you again on February 24. Michal will be back with her wonderful-as-always prose! Until then, here’s an update from Vocal Fry principal Katie Jensen’s mom’s kitten, Betty, who bravely received her rabies shot this week.

Yours in friends and fries,

Copyright © 2023 Vocal Fry Studios, All rights reserved.

Update your preferences or unsubscribe