Women in Media Queensland is thrilled to announce Deadset Studios director Kellie Riordan is the recipient of the 2021 Career Boost Scholarship.
She is one of Australia’s leading podcast strategists and the creative lead behind podcasts including Conversations, Ladies We Need To Talk, Judith Lucy Overwhelmed and Dying, Unravel, The Pineapple Project, Short & Curly, and The Eleventh.
She was the founding commissioning editor for ABC Audio Studios and now runs the podcast consultancy and production house Deadset Studios.
Q&A with Kellie Riordan
Why did you apply?
I’ve recently moved from a leadership career at the ABC into my own podcast consultancy and production company. It’s been a steep learning curve. While I’ve been a senior editorial leader for some time managing big budgets and large creative teams, now I’m having to do everything for myself! I’m learning a lot more about quoting on work, financial forecasting, hiring staff, paying superannuation, and fixing the printer! So it’s been a challenging move and I need both a stronger network around me to cheer me on during the tough times, and also practical skills and tips in running a production company.
What do you hope to achieve?
My goal is to build a sustainable production house that can hire creative producers to do their best work in the podcasting space as the medium continues to explode globally. I’m hoping to do a mix of strategy work and consulting, some fee-for-service productions, and then original shows and commissions for media companies. I want to showcase the great work Australian podcasters do on a global scale because the shows we create here are world-class.
How will you share with other women in media so they can benefit as well?
I hope to do this in two ways. One is to hold a series of webinars where I can share some of the skills and tools I learn while under-taking this professional development. With so many people working in the media in a freelance capacity these days, I’m sure there’ll be things I learn about business administration I can share. My bigger plan though is to scale my business so I’m able to support Queensland women by hiring them and creating both freelance and full-time employment opportunities for stellar podcast creators and sound designers.
Can you describe a career move that proved life-changing?
In 2014 I was a fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University. I spent a semester there researching and writing a paper on journalism ethics in the digital age. It was a transformative experience on a few fronts. Oxford University is a place you can only dream of studying at and to walk among the colleges there was such a wonderful opportunity! It also allowed me to mix with the broader journalism community globally, which you don’t get to do often in Australia. And lastly, I took my young family with me so we have many fond memories of exploring the UK together that we still talk about today. My girls got to see their Mum on a bigger stage doing interesting, challenging, and meaningful work – which they will always remember.
What is your life motto?
Do the work! There’s no short-cuts in life really, you just have to put in! I reckon you get out what you put into things. That, and eat all the cake!