Search
  • Dusty Weis

Podcamp Hires Larry Kilgore III As Production Services Manager

A Milwaukee-area native with deep media production experience in audio and video, Larry Kilgore III has joined the team at Podcamp Media, Milwaukee’s branded podcast production studio for businesses, as its first full time employee.

"Larry is an Emmy-nominated TV audio producer and an intuitive storyteller," Podcamp President Dusty Weis said. "On a personal note, I've known him for 17 years, and I've seen how he brings an unrivaled work ethic and an unstoppable motor to the projects he tackles."


"I feel very fortunate to work with Larry again, and I know that Podcamp and our clients will benefit from his talent, his dedication and his creativity," Weis added.


Kilgore will fill a role as production services manager for the growing company, tapping into more than 15 years worth of media production expertise. Prior to joining Podcamp Media, Kilgore worked as a technical director at Weigel Broadcasting in Chicago, where he amassed production credits including work on “Chicago Food To Go,” “Svengoolie,” and “Through the Decades.”

Both alumni of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s student radio station, WSUM, Kilgore and Weis first worked together as members of the creative team behind “Slightly Off Kilter,” a radio program named as College Broadcasting Inc.’s “Best Regularly-Scheduled Program” of 2007.


“I am so excited for this opportunity and for what I think this company can do—not just in the next year, but in the years to come,” Kilgore said. “I think we have great things coming and our expectations do not come close to what we will actually achieve.”


Q&A With Larry Kilgore III


Dusty Weis:

I've been in your ear about coming to work for Podcamp Media for a long time now. Did you think that this was how it was going to look?


Larry Kilgore III:

No. To be honest, I wasn't sure it would happen. It's one of those things and it's... What you have done in the last year and a half has been amazing. And I'll get to that and the things I have to say about that later, but we've had friends and friends that have been dreamers, they're having a project they're excited about and, "Man, as soon as I get this thing off the ground, I'm bringing you with me." And it's never a lack of belief, but you got to maintain expectations. And up until, really, a few months ago when this really started becoming a more concrete thing, I wasn't sure it was. And it's okay. Like I said, it's not like I was, "Oh, Dusty's never going to do it." But you know, you got to temper expectations and even if you had decided to go a different direction, I couldn't be hurt about that. But no, I'm excited that we're doing this and I'll say 2020 may have been a rough year globally, but it's been an exciting year, especially the last few months have been very exciting for me and I think will be exciting for us going into the new year.


Dusty Weis:

Let's rehash that history then. You and I have known each other for literally half of our lives. And that's a scary figure. Do you remember the first time we met?


Larry Kilgore III:

We had a Lit class freshman year.


Dusty Weis:

Yes, that's right.


Larry Kilgore III:

First semester, freshman year. It was Russian Lit, right?


Dusty Weis:

Yeah. Russian Literature and Translation. I think it was Literature and Translation 219.


Larry Kilgore III:

Okay. And I remember because you had long hair.


Dusty Weis:

And you had these dope dreadlocks.

Larry Kilgore III:

I did have my dreads, yeah. And I will say I do not remember the specifics, but I do remember that we got along right away.


Dusty Weis:

More than anything. We were the two guys sitting in the back of the section, making sarcastic comments.


Larry Kilgore III:

Yeah. I do remember that.


Dusty Weis:

It was about all there was to it. And then that was that for a while. And then I got involved at WSUM, UW Madison's student radio station, and you were already deeply embedded there and deeply active. And then of course, we spent a lot of time working together on a radio show that was called Slightly Off Kilter. And it was a program done in the style of The Daily Show, but for the radio and-


Larry Kilgore III:

Fake news, no pants.


Dusty Weis:

Exactly. We even infamously took a picture up on top of a 14 story high-rise in negative 10 degree weather, standing there with no actual pants on for our flyer.


Larry Kilgore III:

We also did the State Street one, is the one I remember because we were standing out in the middle of the street and a group of girls-


Dusty Weis:

At bar time.


Larry Kilgore III:

Yeah, a group of girls were, "Oh, what fraternity are you guys rushing?" Like, "We're not." "Then why are you standing In the middle of the street with no pants on?"


Dusty Weis:

Student radio, guys.


Larry Kilgore III:

"Taking pictures. It's cool."


Dusty Weis:

Yeah. And of course, Slightly Off kilter, we had a big team of people that worked on that. And everybody was just oozing talent. And everybody has gone on to do really cool stuff since then. But Slightly Off Kilter went on to win an award from College Broadcasting Incorporated as the best radio show of 2007. That's a thing that I brag about regularly.


Larry Kilgore III:

And I want it to go on record that like Podcamp, Slightly Off Kilter was yours first, and then we found ways to make it grow. And I'm excited about recreating that environment.


Dusty Weis:

Well, like Podcamp, Slightly Off Kilter started with me just sitting in a room talking to myself. And that wasn't very fun. And so, I was lucky enough to be able to drag people like you into it. So if this is a repeat of that, then I will feel very lucky. In the years since we worked together, you've gone on to do a lot of moving and shaking in the world too. You've walked the world. You've accomplished some really great things. Take me through your path from the University of Wisconsin, where we met, to where you are now, an Emmy nominated TV sound producer, getting ready to transition into the world of podcasting.


Larry Kilgore III:

Well, I don't know if you remember, but I have a Bachelor's in Philosophy, but when we did radio, it was fun, but I never really thought it would be career choice. It wasn't really until we did Your Signs with Tim Lundt.


Dusty Weis:

Indie film that we produced.


Larry Kilgore III:

Yeah, a friend of ours wrote his screenplay that we shot after we graduated and produced. And he and I took it to a film festival and we did some screenings in the state. And that was really the first time that I started to think that this was something I could do, this is something that could be a career for me. So after a few years, I went back to school, I went to Madison Media Institute, and there I got an Associate's in Video and Motion Graphics.


Larry Kilgore III:

And one of the things I loved about the program there, unfortunately the school does not exist anymore, it was very hands-on, and cross-learning. There were three major programs, which was the video program, the audio program and the graphic design program. And you were required to take classes in all of the programs to get a well-rounded education. From there, I went on to work at WKOW, the ABC affiliate in Madison. And I worked my way up from Master Control Operator to Technical Director. And when I left there, I was a graphic artist. And then I've spent the last, almost eight years in Chicago. And really, I've been thinking about this the last couple of days. And really, I worked hard and did whatever I could.


Larry Kilgore III:

I've been a Technical Director as a title for the last seven or eight years, but I've done media management, I floor directed for Svengoolie, which is a nationally syndicated television show. I did studio audio for Through the Decades, which is a Today in History show on the Decades network, which is another nationally televised show. I've mixed live performances, I've done live events. The last three years in general, specifically since, I think, we did a Slightly Off Kilter for the anniversary of WSUM.


Dusty Weis:

Yeah, that's right.


Larry Kilgore III:

And that was when the audio bug bit me again. And I leaned really hard into that. So over the last three or four years, I've been doing a lot. And my manager that I had at Weigel had a lot of knowledge and was always willing to teach me stuff. But yeah, I've just worked hard and anything you can imagine that comes into doing live studio production, I've done it.


Dusty Weis:

What's great about it is at Podcamp, and you'll get tired of hearing me say this but I do preach it, we don't make podcasts, we tell stories. And ultimately, I think the medium is irrelevant. We spend most of our time working in audio, but we do video too, we write too. Ultimately what we want to do is be able to tell the story the best way that we're able, no matter what the medium is in the way that connects, most importantly, to our audience, whoever they happen to be. And so your background, coming from a visual arts background, coming from a video editing background, and then of course with your deep experience in sound editing, sound production, sound voicing, you are the ultimate widget player. You're a jackknife, you're a jack of all trades and you have all the tools that I know that you need to thrive in this job.


Dusty Weis:

Plus, I've worked with you before. I know your work ethic, I know your motor, you are unstoppable when you set your mind to something, and dedicated to boot. And so I felt so lucky to be able to get you when I did and bring you in here on the ground floor of Podcamp Media, but with all that said, and with that really well-rounded background, what in your career are you most proud of so far?


Larry Kilgore III:

Well, first I want to go back to what you said about the storytelling. And I absolutely agree with that. And one of the things that I've always believed in, we are about telling stories in multiple ways. And as far as the proudest thing I have in my career, in my arsenal, is my versatility. I love learning for the sake of learning and growing. And in general, but specifically in what I've done in the last eight years in Chicago, I've added so many things to my tool belt and I've survived shows being recast and moved and things like that by making myself useful and valuable. Like I said, my title has said Technical Director, but I've done media management, I've done low-level systems engineering support. I've done camera operation, direction, floor directing, editing, graphic design. I like doing things, I like expanding my mind. Like I said, I have a Bachelor's in Philosophy. Who would have thought that this is where I would go.


Larry Kilgore III:

I find a way to make things work. And I find a way to learn how to do things. And it's not even about trying to be a one man band, but I want to be useful in whatever way I can.


Dusty Weis:

Well, I'm just happy to have finally pulled you back into the realm of audio because, and you've heard me say this a million times, it is a damn shame that that voice of yours isn't on a microphone more often. So we are going to find every opportunity that we can to get that basso profondo on the air here. I never formally interviewed you for this job, but if I had one of the boiler plate questions that comes up in job interviews that I have to have you answer now is, so what is it that you're hoping to get out of this job with Podcamp Media?


Larry Kilgore III:

When I look at a job and a position that I'm interested in, one of the most important things for me is the work environment, being in a place where I feel not only valued, but I feel that I can grow and learn and participate. And I know that's what I'm going to get working with you. The great thing about this is the history that we have. In the last six months or so, the freelance work that I've done for you, helping you grow this company, I've rekindled the excitement I have, not only working with you, but working in this field. And going back to what we talked about with Slightly Off Kilter and where this all started with us, I think of those moments fondly, that's still something I'm very proud of. And if we can have even half of the fire that we had in that show out of the gate, which I know we will...


Larry Kilgore III:

I'm excited for this because it's not... I know a job serves a purpose to pay the bills, keep a roof over your head, keep yourself fed, but when I'm looking at a career and looking at the work I want to do, I want to be excited about the work I do and the people that I work with. And that is absolutely what I get.


Dusty Weis:

That's super gratifying to hear. And it means a lot because that's the environment that I strive to create. And if we ever lose that fire, I want you to slap me silly and help me get it back.


Larry Kilgore III:

I can-


Dusty Weis:

And I know you will.


Larry Kilgore III:

... promise you that.


Dusty Weis:

Larry, as Production Services Manager, a lot of your role is going to be taking the lead on the back end of the production, the editing, that kind of stuff, but because we're a small operation and because you're also a polymath, you're going to be in some client facing roles. And like I said, I got to get that voice of yours on a microphone, so that's going to happen too. And that much said, it's about time that we let you take over as podcast host here. So what do you want to ask me about the job and about the operation?


Larry Kilgore III:

So, I'm sure the listeners know a little bit, and if not, please give a little bit of the background of Podcamp and what you've been doing yourself the last year and a half. But the thing I find interesting is... Like I said before, I've been a dreamer myself of being an entrepreneur. I think we all know plenty of people that have dreamt of starting their own business, working for yourself, doing what you want to do, but it takes a lot to be able to take a dream that you have when you're kicking back, having beers and turn it into an executable idea. And for me, I want to know at what point did Podcamp... And even before, it probably wasn't even Podcamp in your mind, but the idea of doing this go from an idea to, "No, this is something I can do, I can plan and I can execute"?


Dusty Weis:

I think that moment came, I was... And for folks who haven't heard me talk ad nauseum about it before, I do have a background in media. I was a radio news reporter and anchor at a number of radio stations before I transitioned out of that, into the world of public relations and marketing and being a little bit of a polymath like you, I just kept on adding new experiences and new skill sets to the toolbox. And I was working in a content marketing role, which was a realm that I had zero experience in until I started at the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, running their content marketing initiative. And it just started to dawn on me slowly at that point, that the skills that I had amassed between media production in radio, between leading a team as Assistant News Director, working in public relations and then marketing and content marketing, all these things were just building up this exoskeleton that would support me striking out and taking an entrepreneurial path.


Dusty Weis:

And I had never really had any ambitions to have my own business, but I knew that I liked telling stories. And I started to realize that there was the support structure there to take a risk and to try something different. And one of my great frustrations over the years as a creative person, working in media production, has always been that very often the creative people that drive media organizations are very much treated like cogs in a wheel. And certainly, there is the need to have people act in concert with one another in a big media production operation, but too often, they're just treated like grist in the mill and paid too little and worked too hard, essentially not treated like creative individuals with ambitions of their own, but just as somebody else's means to an end.


Larry Kilgore III:

I feel like there has gone away the focus of considering human resources as a resource that is finite and needs to be kept and properly appreciated.


Dusty Weis:

Worse in media production, I think, than in a lot of different businesses, because you can ask 10 people and say, "Have you ever thought that you wanted to work in radio?" And six out of 10 would say, "Oh, heck yeah, I'd be great at radio."


Dusty Weis:

And so, in these media businesses, you have this over supply of people that want to work in that, maybe not an oversupply of talent, but certainly a glut and more people interested in working in the business than there are jobs available. And I think that the laws of supply and demand unchecked, have resulted in creative people who work in those businesses being vastly under compensated and undervalued for the true talent that they really bring to it. And so all of this is a really roundabout way of saying I saw an opportunity, I saw a niche that I saw was underserved. There was not enough talent. There was not enough expertise in the branded podcast space. And I saw an opportunity to build an environment where creative people can be valued and appreciated and do great work on behalf of their clients, but also be given some leash to go out and express themselves creatively.


Dusty Weis:

Because ultimately when you're a creative person, you're like a fire, you need air and you need fuel. Your fuel is your creativity, but the air that you need is being given the space to let that creativity take its own shape sometimes. It's not always striving to just make something for the client or for the boss, but to also be able to express yourself creatively. And so I wanted to create a space where creative people could do that. And we might not grow super fast, but I think we're going to grow the right way.


Larry Kilgore III:

Well now, let's turn our focus a little bit to your baby, which is Lead Balloon. For those that don't know, Lead Balloon was announced as Adweek's Marketing Podcast of the Year, which I know-


Dusty Weis:

Speaking of things that I'm just going to keep bringing up over and over.


Larry Kilgore III:

Well, not only is that amazing, but a very humbling experience and I think both of us sometimes forget that we are award-winning personalities. It's good to know that people recognize the quality that you bring to the table. So now that Lead Balloon has hit that mark, you didn't want to peak too soon, what are your thoughts on Lead Balloon and what we want to do with it in the next year?


Dusty Weis:

Well, season two is dropping that first week in January here. And so really what I want to do, now with that Adweek stamp of approval on it, is just go bigger and better. Everybody comes to you and says, "Oh, I got a marketing podcast. Do you want to be on my marketing podcast?" People are like, "Oh yeah, whatever." But this is Adweek's Marketing Podcast Year now, that's going to open the door to bigger guests, bigger names, better stories. And so I just want to take what we did well with Lead Balloon and do it better, now that we have some credibility behind it, now that I have some help to help me make it better. We're going to experiment with maybe some new storytelling formats from time to time, because the worst thing that you can do is just fall into a formula right out the gate, and then never innovate and never change.


Dusty Weis:

So we're going to play around a little bit. And then I want to try to grow the listenership some, because Lead Balloon has always been a passion project to me. And I always say that I don't care if only a dozen people listen to an episode, as long as they're the right dozen people. It's a piece of content marketing for Podcamp Media, it's where we show off our skills, and I've had great success, great luck with getting it into the ears of the right people. And then having them reach out and say, "All right, let's discuss opportunities for having our businesses work together." That's ultimately what it was meant to do, but after all the work that we've put into it, I really want to grow that listenership base and get it into more ears. And maybe even down the line, maybe find a sponsor for it that would free up more resources to go toward it and offer the opportunity to tell more and better stories.


Dusty Weis:

So just essentially, just want to keep that snowball rolling down a hill, because I do think that there's a lot of great opportunities that we haven't even been able to explore yet.


Larry Kilgore III:

And that's good. And I'm excited about the fact that I'm... Bringing me onto the team, that there's a lot that we can do together. Now that you have been able to add me as your Production Services Manager, what are your thoughts on Podcamp and what you want to do with the company for the next year?


Dusty Weis:

Well, this definitely isn't going to be the first time that somebody applies a football analogy to the world of business, so I apologize for that because it's trite and it's cliche, but it's also effective. What you want to do in football and what you want to do as a small business owner is stack small successes on small successes, and that builds big success.


Dusty Weis:

And so we've had a lot of really good small successes in this past year. The most recent of which is the signing of a really big Fortune 500 client, and we're going to be going all hands on deck over the next couple of months to bring a project online for them by the end of January. Details are still TBA on that. It's super cool. We're going to be able to tell some really cool stories about small businesses, but I can't say much more than that about it right now. So first thing out of the gate is just crushing it with that project because they're a Fortune 500 client. And again, it's the kind of thing that opens up doors, opens up more possibilities and opportunities down the line. So we're going to do that and we're going to do it really well. We're also going to build on the success for our existing clients.


Dusty Weis:

And I say this from a position of... In the last two months, I have re-signed all of the clients that were in our stable this year. That's awesome for me because a year ago at this time, I watched my first client sunset their project because they didn't have the budget to keep it going. And I had not yet signed another client. And there was about a week in there where I ran around with my hands in the air saying, "Is this the end of Podcamp Media?" It wasn't. Our clients at the National Corn Growers Association came through. And after months of talking to me at that point, they signed on and became my new anchor clients. And they're doing great work. In fact, there's a podcast episode that'll be out for them when this drops with Jeff Zeleny, the senior White House correspondent for CNN, talking about the implications of the transition in presidential administrations and what that means for the corn industry.


Dusty Weis:

Again, great thought leadership, great content marketing. These guys are doing great work with their podcasts, and we're so excited to be a part of that. We're going to continue to help them hit it out of the park too. Then of course, everything has been virtual for the past nine months now. Eventually, post pandemic here, things are going to start to transition to being back in person again. So we're going to go out, we're going to establish Podcamp Media studios that's not in my basement and your spare room. We're going to build a really cool studio and then throw a huge party to welcome people into it and celebrate our clients and their successes. But also we're going to hit the road. We're going to travel to some podcasting conferences to continue to build out our skillsets, continue to meet and network with important and influential people in the industry.


Dusty Weis:

And so I am so excited to travel again. We're going to find more clients that have exciting stories to tell. We've got some great irons in the fire right now. We're going to grow the company and maybe even, fingers crossed, add some more brilliant inspired people to the team. Of course, I don't want to grow too fast. I don't ever want to be in a position where all I'm doing is running a business and I don't personally get to be creative. So it's all about finding the right clients, not a lot of clients, but that's exciting to me. And then lastly, and my wife would shoot me if I didn't add this part in there, now that you're going to be onboarded, that means that I get to take a vacation again sometime for the first time in two years. And so we're, again, post pandemic, looking forward to having a week sometime in the next year where I just don't have to think about Podcamp for a week and-


Larry Kilgore III:

I'm sure she appreciate with the kids too.


Dusty Weis:

They're not coming.


Larry Kilgore III:

You've had at least one of them you've had since you started Podcamp, right?


Dusty Weis:

Yeah. Henry I had before Podcamp, but Josie joined us in February. And she's been a pandemic baby, man. So she's eaten at a restaurant all of one time ever. It's been such a weird year to be parents.


Larry Kilgore III:

She's going to be spoiled by all that home cooking.


Dusty Weis:

Yeah. That's it.


Larry Kilgore III:

And I want to say, and you've said it numerous times, I love the fact that hearing you say it's important not to grow too fast. I've worked in enough small and medium-sized businesses where sometimes the owners, I feel, lose sight of that fact. And when they start making money, they want to make more. And rather than, I won't say doubling down, but really focusing on the things you're doing good, and the things that have made you money and continue to let that grow, the first thing they want to do is just put the money into something else and get another building and hire more staff. I think it's great that you have a plan and a focus and you know that we want to grow, but it's not just about getting money and getting more staff.


Larry Kilgore III:

One of the things that I love about working with you is the fact that you are very good at being goal-oriented. I have always looked at creative media in general as one of those things, like you look at streamers or people that have, I hate to say it, become YouTube famous, where it's the idea that you create good content and if enough people see it and the right people see it, money will come your way. But what I love about what you've done with Podcamp so far, and what I know you do is, you set goals and expectations and you find a way to get there. One of the things I think is great is I know two of your big goals for this year were to have a studio space and were to onboard your first full-time employee, which hopefully the whole time has been me.


Dusty Weis:

Hey, we're batting .500 on that. That's not bad.


Larry Kilgore III:

Well, and we've had a conversation and I feel like the choice to not have a studio space was much more about the fact that, in a pandemic right now.


Dusty Weis:

It'd be wasted money.


Larry Kilgore III:

So I don't feel like that was unachievable as much as it is. It was a business decision that right now is not the time for that. But I love the fact that you met your goal this year. And I can't think of specific things, but I know when working with Slightly Off Kilter, having you steering that ship was great for keeping us on task and keeping us goal-oriented and where that show went from when it started to senior year, being Best Regularly Scheduled Program from CBI, you helped get us there. So I want to ask you if there were one thing that would make 2021 a successful year for Podcamp, what do you think that would be?


Dusty Weis:

I think it's going to be to keep growing. I think it's going to be to keep stacking success on success and keep our existing clients happy and find new clients. And again, find new talented people. And maybe that sounds like a cop-out answer, but I don't think it is because especially this last couple months here, since we made the decision to bring you on full-time, what I have made myself crazy doing is building infrastructure, is figuring out, "Okay, how do I pay an employee? How do I provide a health insurance to an employee?" These are all stupid questions I never wanted to have to figure out. They're important questions. Clearly you care about getting paid and having health insurance, but it's not being creative and telling stories. And so my goal for 2021, is now that we've built the bones of this company and we have an infrastructure and we have over the... You know what I did yesterday? Yesterday I spent 12 hours with my dad who worked his career as an IT supervisor, and we built a server to act as a main pipeline for collaborating on work between you and me.


Dusty Weis:

And we did that, not because it was fun, it was the biggest pain in the I think I've had to deal with this year as the flurry of emails that you received throughout the day will probably confirm, but we did it because that's infrastructure, because now the next time that we need to add another employee, all I have to do is call up our payroll services provider and be, "Yo, Adam." And then I have to log onto my server and create an account for them. And then I'm done. So what has taken me 50 hours over the last two months, hopefully take an hour next time around.


Larry Kilgore III:

That is a perfect example of what I was talking about too, is this wasn't just, "We'll bring Larry on and then we'll see what the next step is." You're thinking ahead. And you're thinking infrastructure and the idea of, "If we build this server now, we set all this up now when it's just the two of us, then it's there. And that's something we don't have to worry about anymore."


Dusty Weis:

Yeah. So the bones are there. We've got good bones. Now it's hanging some meat on this thing. Now it's growing it, making it bigger, stronger, getting more creative people on board and getting more awesome clients who have a great story to tell. And that's my goal for 2021, is to not have to screw around on infrastructure. That's it right there.


Larry Kilgore III:

Well, Dusty, again, I have been and will continue to be absolutely excited for this opportunity and for what I think the two of us are going to do not just in the next year, but in the years to come. I think we will look back fondly on this particular moment and what we've done in general in the last few years. I think we have great things coming and our expectations do not come close to what I think we will actually achieve in the next few years.


Dusty Weis:

We're going to have fun. We're going to do good work together. And at the end of the day, we're going to feel good about that. And I'm so grateful to, again, have someone that I've worked with before, someone that I know and trust on board right out the gate. I think it is impossible that this next year will suck. I could be proven wrong.


Larry Kilgore III:

I agree with that. I think the environment that we create for each other, this isn't going to feel like work. And even when it's work, some of the edits I've done, 16, 20 hours in, I'm still smiling because I love the work we do, and I love the work we do together. And as long as we continue doing that, it's going to be great.


29 views0 comments