The Leap explores life’s make-or-break moments.
Debuts Tuesday, October 6
KQED is thrilled to announce the launch of The Leap, a storytelling podcast about people in life-defining moments ─ the dreams that drive them and the changes they never saw coming.
Season One of the The Leap launches on KQED.org, iTunes and SoundCloud. Episode one, “Liquid Ass,” reveals how the world’s worst smell started as a high school gag and lead to an unpredictable leap. Subsequent episodes explore how a punk-rock guitar icon leapt into a very unlikely new line of work and how two close friends were brought together by a tragic coincidence.
One upcoming episode, “Windfall,” is a breaking news story exclusive. The Leap will reveal the identity and quirky story of a Bay Area non-profit poised to receive a transformational donation, a surprise bequest of millions of dollars from a total stranger.
The Leap is produced and hosted by award-winning reporter-producers Amy Standen and Judy Campbell. Also on the team are Jason Black, Siouxsie Oki and Matthew Williams. The podcast’s executive-in-charge is public radio veteran Jo Anne Wallace, Vice President and General Manager, Radio as well as Vice President, TV and Radio Programming at KQED.
“A podcast about these brief moments that change one’s life is such a compelling idea,” said Wallace, “and it’s the passionate reporting and expert storytelling by Amy and Judy that brings The Leap to life and keeps listeners on the edge of their seats.”
“Everyone understands leaps,” says Standen. “They represent the ability to start out one place in life and end up somewhere – or as someone – else. We wanted to explore the idea that leaps are about as close as we get to a birthright in America, and yet they don’t always turn out that way.”
“These stories are so intimate and so personal,” says Campbell. “But we also wanted to approach them as reporters, hearing not just from the leap takers, but the people in their lives who nudge them forward or hold them back.”
The Leap is the winner of KQED’s Project Podcast Co-opetition, an internal staff contest to develop an original audio podcast. The Leap was selected from 19 entries by a panel of judges that included KQED leaders like Wallace, Executive Editor of News Holly Kernan and Executive in Charge of Arts David Markus as well as external judges including Audible’s Will Rogers and SoundCloud’s Manolo Espinosa.
Campbell and Standen would like to hear from listeners about their own leaps, or the leaps of people they know. Story ideas can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Leap is online at: kqed.org/theleap
Amy Standen is a science reporter at KQED whose stories have also appeared on NPR and Pop Up Magazine. She lives in San Francisco. Judy Campbell is a producer of KQED’s daily talk show, Forum, and a former criminal justice reporter. She lives in Oakland.
The Leap is sponsored by A.C.T. (American Conservatory Theater) and Opera San Jose.
KQED, the public media organization serving Northern California, is for everyone who wants to be more. Our television, radio, digital media and educational services change lives for the better and help individuals and communities achieve their full potential. KQED serves the people of Northern California with a community-supported alternative to commercial media. We provide citizens with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions; convene community dialogue; bring the arts to everyone and engage audiences to share their stories. We help students and teachers thrive in 21st century classrooms, and take people of all ages on journeys of exploration—exposing them to new people, places and ideas.