Noel Brown (BA ‘11)
Noel Brown (BA ‘11). Photo by Casey Pegram

Answers Along the Way: Noel Brown

When it comes to pinning down Noel Brown’s (BA ’11) big break, it’s really tough to argue against that time in 2013 when the TV/Cinema major’s senior thesis won best documentary short at the Atlanta Film Festival (because, really — who does that?). But a closer inspection of the details would suggest that his actual big break just may have been when he snagged an internship at WACG, the Georgia Public Broadcasting radio station located on the Summerville Campus. There, he started doing news reports and radio features for the GPB network, developing the reporting and editing skills that would become the foundation of his professional career.

“It was one of those fake-it-until-you-make-it situations,” he says.

And while he may have faked it at the beginning, he’s managed to make it in a very big way. Currently a producer and host for several popular podcasts for Stuff Media, the world’s leading for-profit producer of podcasts, Brown still edits some of the bigger, “high touch” shows, and he’s even managed to find a way to wrap his presumed big break into his real big break: one of the episodes of his
Stuff They Don’t Want You To Know podcast focuses on the Georgia Guidestones, the topic of his award-winning documentary.

> Back in the 1990s you couldn’t make an album unless you had access to a recording studio, whereas now anybody with GarageBand can make an album that could potentially be really powerful and meaningful. It’s the same with podcasting. If you have something to say, all you need is a USB mic and a computer.

> I don’t know what medium can replace podcasts because they are the one thing you can do without looking at something. It’s a very intimate medium. You can kind of pick who you want to hang out with, and those are the people you really give your time to.

> Podcasting is very attractive from a marketing standpoint. Having someone speak directly to an audience is very difficult, and advertisers are like, “Yes, give me that all day long.” For us, it’s very personal because we know our audience trusts us, and that’s not something we want to take lightly.

> People think podcasting is easy, that it’s just BS’ing into a microphone, but it’s not. It takes a lot of effort and energy and frankly a lot of commitment. You’ve heard that anyone can make a podcast, and there’s truth to that. But anyone can’t make a good one that people are going to continue to listen to for a long time.

> We are now part of the iHeart Radio family, and they’re really investing a lot in us. It’s an exciting time to be here. Now we have studios in Hollywood and New York, and we’ve got Will Ferrell making a podcast for us in the character of Ron Burgundy from Anchorman. We’ve come a long way.

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