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Brought to you by... (formerly Household Name) is Business Insider's flagship narrative podcast. Each episode of the show tells the surprising story behind a well-known brand, exploring the unexpected ways business shapes our lives and culture.
I joined the team as an intern shortly before the podcast launched its first season in July 2018. By September, I had stepped into an unofficial producer role, contributing reporting, writing and audio editing to episodes in production. I was hired full-time as an associate producer in December 2018 and took over as executive producer following Dan Bobkoff's departure in the summer of 2019. Since then, I assembled a team, managed production, guided the show through a rebrand, and continued to contribute as a reporter and producer.
June 2018 - January 2021
Heard It Through the Grapevine
I built relationships with raisin growers, admen, and artists to report the full story behind the iconic claymation California Raisins ads from the 1980s. IndieWire included this episode on its list of the top 50 podcast episodes of 2020.
DESCRIPTION: The 1980’s TV commercials for California raisins have been called some of the best ads ever made. The claymation raisins singing and dancing to Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” became a kids TV show, recorded an album that went platinum, launched a range of toys and costumes, and starred in an Emmy-winning Christmas special. But were they a success for the raisin industry? Or did the dancing California raisins cause more trouble than they were worth?
The Red (M&M's) Scare
I pitched, reported, and produced this episode about red M&Ms and what happens when journalists and the Food and Drug Administration fail to effectively communicate scientific research to the public.
DESCRIPTION: From the mid 1970s to the mid ‘80s, red M&M’s disappeared. American consumers had become worried about the safety of red food coloring after some questionable Russian studies prompted the FDA to look into whether one particular dye might be causing cancer in rats. But years later, the red M&M made a triumphant return, thanks in part to a college kid in Tennessee and an inside joke that took on a life of its own.
The Coed Scouts of America
The Boy Scouts of America's decision to allow girls to participate in its Boy Scout branch offered me the opportunity to revisit my own experience in a coed scout program. I drew on video footage I recorded while in high school and interviews with my former teammates to reconstruct one year spent in a coed Sea Scout ship.
DESCRIPTION: The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) caused a stir when it reversed its “no girls allowed” rule for the Boy Scouts last year. But it turns out, this isn’t the first time the BSA has gone coed. We take a closer look at what happened, and one Sea Scout reflects on how gender affected her experience in the Scouts.
Who owns the Oakland A's?
I traveled to California to report this story about one fan's fight to keep the A's in Oakland, and the powerful identity underlying his love for the team.
DESCRIPTION: In the 1970s, the Oakland A’s were the most bonkers team in baseball. They had bright yellow and green uniforms, iconic handlebar mustaches, and a live donkey for a mascot. It was an eccentric owner's way of getting attention. But those gimmicks didn't win fans in Oakland. Instead, they started a generation of fights between fans and owners, until both sides learned that success in Oakland means embracing Oakland.
Gangs? At Disneyland?
I reported, wrote, and produced this episode about the unlikely "gang" scene at Disneyland.
DESCRIPTION: Once upon a time, gangs roamed Disneyland in biker vests. They swarmed rides. They got in fights. Or so we thought… The real story is more like a classic Disney fairy tale... about a princess and her merry band of friends. But is there a happily ever after?
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