Open Mic Spotlight: Sue Zizza

NYF’s Open Mic Spotlight spends a few minutes each week with prominent Grand Jury members from around the globe, each Spotlight interview shares the insights of content creators from the wonderful world of radio.

New York Festivals International Radio Awards jury of award-winning directors, producers, journalists, writers, actors, creative directors, composers, on-air talent, and programming executives are actively involved in creating the innovative content on radio today.

Sue Zizza, Executive Producer/Director/Writer

2018 Grand Jury member, Sue Zizza is the owner of SueMedia Productions, a full-service audio production company based on Long Island in New York. She is an audio producer, director, writer, and sound designer as well as an adjunct member of the Tisch Film School. Sue is also the Program Chair  of the HEAR Now Festival, which helps to celebrate audio fiction productions annually in June. (

For more than 25 years she has been producing award-winning audio drama for public radio and audio-books as well as sound for other entertainment media. Her many productions have earned her numerous Audie, Gracie, Wilbur, Communicator, Ear Phone, NY International Radio, Golden Reel, and many other awards.

New York Festivals: How did you get your start in the radio industry?

Sue Zizza: I began my career as a freshman really, at then Hofstra College’s student station WVHC. Because of my freshman training, I was hired part-time by local Long Island radio stations. In particular my news work at WHLI really helped me hone my radio writing skills.

Working on air all through college at both student and commercial stations gave me a unique opportunity to study and practice my skills.

New York Festivals: Did you have a mentor, if so how did they help you achieve your career goals?

Sue Zizza: I did have a mentor who helped me as a student explore the many ways radio / audio can uniquely tell a story. From there I worked in a number of the jobs that used radio, but it wasn’t until I started working in public radio that I found my voice as a producer of audio fiction.

New York Festivals: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Sue Zizza: Try it. Give it your best shot. Have fun telling your tales.

New York Festivals: What are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen in the industry?

Sue Zizza: Technology in the studio and for the user. These changes led to podcasting which have led to more voices creating content.

New York Festivals: What three words describe you as a content creator?

Sue Zizza: Artistry, Innovation, Fun.

New York Festivals: What creative projects are next for you?

Sue Zizza: Taking a work of non-fiction, a memoir and producing the material in a “fictional” manner — special project and unique opportunity.

New York Festivals: What do you think are the hallmarks of award-winning work?

Sue Zizza: Serving the story being told while using the medium to its fullest to engage the listener.

For more information on New York Festivals Radio Awards, please visit: and for information on the 2018 NYF Radio Awards Gala, please visit:,7,15

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