The radio industry veteran who makes Sci-Fi Talk podcast full-time

Tony Tellado
March 1, 2018 - "My advice is be patient, work hard, be passionate and keep your ego in check."
14k DLs/month
Since 2005

►Tell us about you and Sci-Fi Talk

My name is Tony Tellado. I started in conventional radio in the late 1970's. After leaving radio and working in corporate video for a while I came up with the idea for a sci-fi based talk show for conventional radio in 1994. After stints on radio, a friend introduced me to podcasting in 2005. 

My podcast Sci-Fi Talk features conversations with those that create genre (sci-fi, horror, fantasy and comics) entertainment from behind and in front of the camera. I expanded that to include indie and established authors, and indie filmmakers. I have also created special series in the podcast feed like Time Capsule which is a magazine style podcast that features timely interviews plus the series, Newsbot which features important genre news and sample interviews. I make it a point every year to make sure I cover San Diego Comic Con, New York Comic Con and The Tribeca Film Festival.

Most of my listeners are in the 18-35 range, home owners and married. But the demos range from teens to active and retired college professors.


►Why & how did you start this podcast? 

I was interested in reaching a potentially world audience that could listen at their convenience. I also enjoy the interview process and wanted to talk to those who create and learn how some things are created and done. The potential and desire was what drew me.

Initially, I wanted to reach a large audience and monetize it.  What motivates me to do it is the love of the genre and highlight some talents most people might not be aware of. 

I do this podcast because I enjoy it. The podcasting experience has helped me grow personally and professionally. I do listen to podcasts. I have too many to list that I do listen to, usually on my phone.

I started the podcast in 2005 with Buffy The Vampire Slayer composer Christophe Beck as my first episode. My start-up included finding a hosting company and liked the young Libsyn. I signed up and have been using them since. I literally set up my account with Libsyn, recorded using simple recording equipment then transferred it as a file. In about a day I uploaded my first episode. Made a lot of mistakes but learned so much.


►How'd you find the time and funding to do this podcast?

I am lucky that I do this full time. I do self finance, I have had some ads running in the past.

I release an average of three episodes a week. If it's an interview done over the phone with recording and production about two hours average to produce. Editing takes time. 

When I was doing this and working full time, it meant long days and scheduling interviews after work.

Luckily Libsyn makes hosting affordable. Hosting is about $50 a month. I own the recording software and Mics. Air travel and hotels for conventions can be expensive and it varies. Marketing wise, I try to use social media to promote and having the podcast on various other platforms (Spotify, Spreaker, etc) .


►What do you gain from podcasting?        

Financially, I usually have gained about an average of $400 dollars a campaign with The US Navy, Netflix, and Go To Meeting as sponsors in the past. I do take sponsorship through,, and Libsyn as well.

I got my first sponsorship through Blubrry, when my podcast had 10,000 downloads a month. February 2018 has been good so far with 14,000 downloads so far.

Non financially, I gain access to talk to some very talented people and experience conventions in a unique way. I have learned a lot about myself, made some great connections and friendships and have grown as a person, personally and professionally.


►How does your podcasting process look like? 

First record the interview either in person or via phone. Then edit, record narration. Put it all together then upload the file as an MP3.

As I mentioned Libsyn hosts my podcast, I use Sound Forge Audio Studio for editing, I use a Yeti USB mic for recording narrations and intros, and the Zoom X2 for recording on location. My Amazon link is

To find guests to interview, at first I had to hunt for them via phone calls then e-mails. Now I am lucky enough to get enough e-mails with guest requests to be interviewed. I spoke to Harry Lennix of The Black List and Man Of Steel that way. 

To prepare each episode, I try to get background on the person and make notes as to what I want to cover. Also I am sensitive as to what they are trying to promote. I constantly work on my interview skills. If I think I am so good and don't need to work on it, then it's time to quit.

I interview via phone using an Inline patch to record the interview. Also via Skype but not as often as publicists prefer phone interviews. In person, usually at conventions or film festivals. 


►How do you market your show?

Usually through social media. It's a full time job, really. Over 90% of listeners find me via ITunes. Followed by Twitter and then my podcast page. Twitter is my most effective marketing channel.


►What advice would you share with aspiring (new) podcasters?

My advice is be patient, work hard, be passionate and keep your ego in check.

Things I've learned on my journey that weren't obvious beforehand: Maybe obvious but reinforced and keeps me going, I learned that there are people that are better than you and people that are worse. Find your own middle and be the best you can be. A true fact I learned is that there are less podcasters than bloggers. 

The School Of Podcasting is very useful. Libsyn and Blubrry have a pulse on what is happening. They're willing to help too. 


►Where can we learn more about you & your podcast?

My site is a good place to start and on Twitter at @scifitalk

Updated: a year ago