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Old tapes. New unheard multimedia stories. Help us bring print journalists' lost interviews to life via podcast, radio, and YouTube. Read more

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This project was successfully funded on July 16, 2012.

Old tapes. New unheard multimedia stories. Help us bring print journalists' lost interviews to life via podcast, radio, and YouTube.

About this project

Old interview tapes. New unheard multimedia stories. Help us bring journalists' conversations to life via podcast, radio and YouTube. 

Journalists, submit your work now. Storytelling fans, make a pledge -->

##UPDATE## CHECK OUT OUR COVERAGE: Forbes, MediaiteNieman Journalism Lab, Future Journalism Project, & Columbia Journalism Review.


When journalists write an article they typically have hours of recorded interviews, most of which never makes it to the page. What a waste. We're taking those unheard gems left on the cutting room floor and bringing them to the masses. Blank on Blank is a new non-profit 501(c)(3) curating, preserving, and broadcasting lost American interviews by the nation’s ultimate storytellers: print journalists, documentarians, and nonfiction authors. Now we want to inspire more of these journalists and everyone who loves storytelling to preserve these American voices in danger of being lost forever.

In 30 days we want to gather 30 interviews, the best unheard conversations gathering dust on journalists' tapes and hard drives, that we will transform and bring to new audiences through Blank on Blank's podcast, public radio show, and YouTube video series. We're looking for unexpected, personal stories from everyday Americans and famous names. 

We've already produced 75 interviews between journalists and people like BonoEllen DeGeneres, Thom Yorke, Martin Scorsese, Dave Brubeck, Dwyane Wade, Ricky Gervais, Kelly Slater, and President Obama, just to name a few. Our mission to build a living archive of journalists' lost interviews is part This American Life, part TED, and part Library of Congress. These 30 interviews are only the beginning (watch a sample below).


This Kickstarter campaign is about more than just raising money to cover our production costs transforming raw audio interviews. We want to "kickstart" a nationwide effort to preserve and broadcast your treasured work that's likely never been heard. Join fellow journalists writing for publications like WIREDRolling Stone, Fast Company, Time Out, Newsweek, the Boston Globe, and Spin, who have already brought their old interviews back to life. 

What kinds of interviews are we looking for? Maybe you're a business writer who interviewed an incarcerated CEO? A sports journalist who interviewed Vince Lombardi before he died? A general interest writer whose interview with a longtime Harley-Davidson rider unearthed a story about heartbreak? We're open to it all. All we ask is that the subject is discussing something unexpected (i.e. we want to hear a politician talk candidly about his life, not politics.)

It's easy. All you have to do is pass along your raw interview to us--whether it's on cassette, minidisc, digital recorder or your iPhone. You keep the rights. And we do all the heavy lifting to produce a piece polished with sounds and storytelling worthy of NPR. Why aren't your interviews being heard by thousands and seen by even more?  


Without your financial support, these amazing interviews will not be heard now or by future generations. With your donations, we can cover the hundreds of dollars we need to pay our talented team of radio and video producers to transform each of the 30 interviews we're curating in 30 days. Your donation will allow a cross-section of America to discover these stories at home, on the go, in the car and on the subway. These audio interviews are the voice of the American experience.

We've also got some great rewards and another bonus: since we’re a 501(c)(3) all donations by U.S. taxpayers are tax-deductible.


In May we launched our weekly radio series and podcast on iTunes thanks to help from our distributor PRX, the Public Radio Exchange, home to The Moth Radio HourWTF with Marc Maron, and 99% Invisible. Here's a favorite: Kelly Slater on His Not-So-Perfect Life 


We’re also collaborating with cartoonists, illustrators, filmmakers, graphic artists, and photographers to turn Blank on Blank audio pieces into must-see videos that can live on YouTube and beyond. Here’s a favorite that's been viewed by thousands: Tim Gunn on His FBI Agent Father.



HOST/EXECUTIVE PRODUCER David Gerlach has spent 10 years in print, online, and television news. He recently left ABC News--where he was a producer for Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopolous on Good Morning America--so he could launch Blank on Blank. Previously he was a founding producer on The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC.

AUDIO & VIDEO PRODUCERS Our team of freelancers has contributed to This American Life, NPR, Public Radio International, Freaknomics Radio, to name just a few. They're really good.

CONTRIBUTORS Kick ass writers and authors like James Sullivan, Jonathan Alter, Danielle Sacks, Anthony Bozza, Brian Raftery, Jane Borden, John Dankosky, Thomas Beller, and more are bringing their interviews to life.


If you're a journalist, or just someone who knows a lot of them, can you do us a favor and post this campaign on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, your blog, etc? We want to make sure we cast as wide of a net as possible, and with your help we can reach even more potential contributors.


  • • A raw digital interview is easily uploaded to our storage cloud--or we can digitize old school cassette tapes. It’s easy!

    • Our public radio-seasoned producers cull the interviews for remarkable outtakes

    • Then we pepper these conversations with music and narration and voila: a new episode of the Blank on Blank podcast and radio series is born.

    • They’re usually around 4 or 5 minutes--perfect for radio, mobile, and online listeners

    • Finally we work with animators, graphic artists, and filmmakers to bring these audio pieces to life as video shorts.

    Last updated:
  • David Gerlach

    Anuj Desai has served as editor in chief of Black Book magazine and the deputy editor of Plenty magazine. His writing has appeared in Bookforum, Dwell, Elle, ESPN magazine, Newsweek International, Slate, and The New York Times.

    Erik Langner is director of acquisitions of, a non-profit organization focused on strengthening and expanding noncommercial media.

    Matt McDonagh is National Sales Director at the and AV Club, and has helped build the business behind the newspaper and the recently launched web site. Matt helped launch the Peabody Award Winning Onion News Network.

    Randy Shapiro presently serves as Vice President and General Counsel to The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company. She oversees all legal matters affecting the magazine and its companion Web site, The Daily Beast.

    James McIntyre is a Vice President in the Municipal Securities Division of Morgan Stanley, specializing in structuring tax-exempt financings for state and local governments throughout the country.

    Meet our advisory board @

    Last updated:
  • We realize journalists have a million things going on, so we try to make this as easy and as effortless as possible. We welcome as much creative and editorial input as our contributors want/are able to give.

    Sometimes journalists provide us with a 45-minute interview and say: "have at it." Or maybe they point us towards a particular must-hear portion of the tape. We then cull through the material and turn into something new. During the production process we can share scripts and audio drafts. We also love to record a short interview with the journalist, so they can paint the picture of the interview, the scene, the backstory, etc. That is what makes these interviews, these voyeuristic sound bites, so different.

    Last updated:
  • Nope. It's the perfect match. From sponsoring the entire Blank on Blank experience and content channels to backing creative contests involving rising animators, photographers, and filmmakers, we have some sweet possibilities. Let's talk. Email david at blankonblank dot org.

    Last updated:


  • You selected
    Pledge $3 or more

    7 backers

    Three is the magic number. Yes, it is. A journalist's must-hear interview + your donation + our audio/video maestros = Sweet sounds. Thanks for the love!

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  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    34 backers

    You're helping cover the costs to produce the Blank on Blank podcast, radio & video series. So keep cool and caffeinated this summer with the best cold brew iced coffee recipe. Plus get shout-outs on the Blank on Blank Facebook and Twitter pages and have your name listed on our website. You'll also get our newsletter and be the first to know when new interviews come out.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    25 backers

    Another perfect beverage: we have a top-secret fruit smoothie recipe with two mysterious ingredients. Trust us: your mornings will never be the same. Plus get all the goods mentioned above and we'll send you 20 must-hear Blank on Blank episodes to listen to wherever you want.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $55 or more

    10 backers

    You're now part of the Producer’s Circle. This means you’ll be able to listen to early versions of Blank on Blanks and you can let us know how they sound. Unleash your inner editor-in-chief. And you get the rewards above.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $85 or more

    9 backers Limited (11 left of 20)

    Read up: receive a signed copy of a rad book by a Blank on Blank contributor. We're talking James Sullivan's biographies of James Brown and George Carlin. Jane Borden's hilarious book about a Southern girl's move to NYC. Josh Baron tackles the concert industry in Ticket Masters. They're all perfect for the beach. This + the booty above.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $125 or more

    10 backers

    Learn the art of the interview. What do you ask when you sit down with Hollywood's best, comedic geniuses, world famous rock stars, or a reluctant storyteller? Meet some of our top contributors who have seen and heard it all. This and the loot above.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    2 backers Limited (23 left of 25)

    Be a multimedia mogul! You’ll get all the goodies listed above, and you’ll be the backer of a Blank on Blank podcast. Your name will announced for thousands of listeners everywhere to hear. And you'll get a personal thank you call from our team.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    2 backers Limited (8 left of 10)

    Create your very own Blank on Blank. We’ll interview you or someone you know who has a story that must be heard. Now this would be a really cool gift and way to save a precious memory. We'll polish it with music and smart storytelling—Blank on Blank-style. We love to interview and will make sure it sounds sweet.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    2 backers Limited (8 left of 10)

    Get animated! You can make it possible for amazing animators, illustrators and filmmakers to transform audio Blank on Blanks into must-see videos for YouTube and beyond. You'll get a big on-screen credit when it goes live. You are a producer!

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Funding period

- (31 days)