The Writers Guild of America West Podcast

by Douglas E. Welch

Part of New Media Interchange #011
The POTUS & The Podcaster


While hearing the President on a podcast is a huge step for the New Media world, I also take great interest in small changes that happen right here in my own back yard. For example. an email arrived this week announcing a new podcast from one of the biggest and oldest organizations in mainstream media — The Writers Guild of America West.

“I’m Bill Taub and I am a writer and an instructor and a consultant”

I took a few moments this week to speak with my friend Bill Taub, a member of the Writers Guild Education Committee. He was a large supporter of getting the podcast started and the host of the first in a series of a writer-to-writer interviews on the podcast. He filled me in on some of the challenges of making the podcast happen, as well as what they hope to accomplish with it.

“The title is 3rd and Fairfax, which is where the guild headquarters are located in Los Angeles.”

Don’t think that this is just a podcast for Guild members, though. Bill and his peers on the education committee at the Guild hope to offer something to nearly anyone interested in writing — whether that means writing for television, film, print or elsewhere.

“Hopefully, we’re not just trying to gear it to Writers Guild members. We’re not just trying to gear it to writers. Hopefully it will be of interest to some in the general public who want to hear from writers of note. Who want to hear what the Guild is all about. Who want to hear what the medium is all about. So, it’s not inside baseball and our mandate is to do that are educational not only for writers, but for the community.”

As you might imagine, it can be difficult to launch new ideas like New Media and Podcasting in a old guard establishment like the Writers Guild. The ideas of creating 3rd and Fairfax was first proposed back at the beginning of 2015 and two pilot episodes where recorded to gain the approval of the Writers Guild board.

“Steve Traughtman is the guy who suggested in the committee that we do a podcast and he is equipped to do it and we thought it was such a great idea and said that’s terriffic.”

It is Traughtman, along with co-host Aaron Fullerton, who produce the show every 2 weeks, sharing Guild news at the beginning of each podcast and interviewing Guild executives. The remainder of each 60 minute episode is a writer-to-writer interview with the movers and shakers of the Guild membership. In episode 1, Bill Taub interviews Margaret Nagle, writer of The Good Lie and The Red Band Society for Fox Television and in this week’s episode, Margaret Nagle is back interviewing Emmy-winning writer Danny Strong co-creator and co-writer of the new series, Empire.

I think it is heartening to see such a long established, Hollywood heavyweight like the Writers Guild exploring New Media and all its uses. I think it can only benefit both the Guild and its members not only for the information the podcast provides, but also by showing that New Media is rapidly merging with more traditional methods as a viable entertainment source. I often say that creating your own podcast is one of the best ways of learning about New Media, its production techniques and all the benefits that it has to offer. Hopefully Writers Guild members will begin to view New Media as more of a possibility for sharing, and selling, their work.

“I see this as a coming together of New Media, traditional media and reaching people who need to learn about both. And, in fact, I also see this as a new receptivity of the Guild.”

Of course, since this is a podcast produced by the Writers Guild, they also want to speak directly to their members and provide a new format for information and help to build engagement among the members.

“What we’re trying to accomplish the most — and what we hope we can accomplish the most — is to try and open up an avenue of communication. So, we’re hoping that by doing this medium we will be able to reach a larger Guild membership — a larger Guild audience and encourage them to, at least, know what’s going on and certainly provide them the opportunity to get involved. I mean, this is a legacy as far as I’m concerned. It’s like when we do the videos. This is something that’s going to live beyond us.”

You can listen to the podcast directly from the WGA West web site at wga.org and also subscribe via iTunes, Stitcher or your favorite podcast listening client. Visit WGA.org/thirdandfairfax — all spelled out — to find links to all these services.

Send along a comment via email at
NMI@3rdPass.media or on Twitter to @NMIPodcast.

— This Article was written by — Douglas E. Welch

New Media Interchange

Episode #011: The POTUS & The Podcaster


This is New Media Interchange where we talk about the media world beyond mainstream television and radio, including podcasting, YouTube, live streaming, gaming and more.

NMI is Hosted by Douglas E. Welch, Pioneer Podcaster, Blogger and Writer in Los Angeles.




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