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Basement podcasting becomes opportunity for area small businesses

Cedar Rapids based TPS Media produces content, such as podcasts, audio books

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CEDAR RAPIDS — Four years ago, friends Shane Skala and Symon Sanborn decided to turn their conversations about anything and everything into a podcast.

“It started with that, and then my wife said, ‘Hey, you really bought a lot of equipment, is there any way you could make money?’” Skala recalled.

The podcast — called the Primal Scream Podcast — continues to be produced today, but has moved out of Skala’s home. In fact, their monthly podcasts have become the inspiration for a Cedar Rapids-based independent media company.

“We were growing, we had three other podcasts at the time that were starting, so it was starting to get busy for his basement, so to speak,” Sanborn said.

They moved out of the basement, and three co-owners — Sanborn, Skala and Aaron Bunce — made TPS Media an official business about six months ago. They continue to work to build the company while working at their full-time jobs.

TPS Media produces media content for small business owners, including podcasting, electronic press kits, video production and more.

“We basically cater to other small businesses or people who don’t have a large budget to come in and produce content — live podcasts or YouTube videos — for their products,” Sanborn said.

TPS Media handles the production, editing and publishing of the material. It also produces audiobooks — which was brought to the business by self-published author Bunce — for local authors looking for another avenue to sell their products on Amazon, Audible and iTunes.

Bunce joined the company while it operated out of the Vault Co-Working Space in the Geonetric building in NewBo, before the company moved to its current location at the Plaza Building in downtown Cedar Rapids.

Bunce referred to their time in the Vault as the kick start for TPS Media.

“We realized how busy could get really quickly, and things escalated really quickly,” Bunce said.

TPS Media has moved locations a few times over the past couple years, attempting to find an ideal spot where background noise — cars honking, doors slamming — wouldn’t be an issue for their work.

“We realized very quickly that the sound quality is what defined us from other companies like us, because we’re really big and the one thing (Skala) has always stressed is that we make sure we’re better than everyone else when it comes to sound quality,” Sanborn said.

Skala, Sanborn and Bunce are the only employees at the company, but the owners have recently taken on two interns.

Know a business that would be ideal for “The Ground Floor”? Contact Michael Chevy Castranova at michaelchevy.castranova@thegazette.com.

l Comments: (319) 368-8536; michaela.ramm@thegazette.com

At a glance

• Business: TPS Media

• Owners: Shane Skala, Aaron Bunce and Symon Sanborn

• Address: 415 Second St. SE #312, Cedar Rapids

• Phone: (319) 360-1949

• Website: tpsmedia.co

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