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The Week’s Podcasting News: Listen to BBC’s Doc & Carolla’s Save My Podcast Event, more

If you haven’t yet caught part 1 of the BBC’s radio documentary that I mentioned last week you only have until Thursday to listen. Veteran podcasters Helen Zaltzman and Olly Mann put together an engaging half-hour that covers podcasting’s birth and early growth as a medium, talking with prominent hosts from both sides of the pond.

Unlike too many documentaries I’ve heard and seen, they don’t speak only to the converted. You don’t have to be a podcast nerd to enjoy the show.

Episode 2 of “Podcasting – The First Ten Years” airs Friday at 11 AM GMT (7 AM EDT) on BBC Radio 4. It will be available to stream afterwards, though I’d guess it will only be up for a week.

Here’s what else is going on in podcasting this week.

Listen to the Save Our Podcast Event

Adam Carolla’s still in fundraising mode for his fight against the podcasting patent troll. His Save Our Podcast Legal Defense Fund is now offering a recording of its fundraising event on March 27, asking for a donation of any size in exchange. The show featured fellow podcasters Marc Maron and Doug Benson, late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, and former Police guitarist Andy Summers.

Patent Reform Stalled in Senate

As for the much awaited patent reform that might help disarm patent trolls, a bill is waiting to be marked up in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Though, with Congress’s spring recess starting on Friday, the bill’s chances are looking more dire as Republicans, Democrats and lobbyists continue to fight over provisions.

Skype Announces Product for Podcasters and Broadcasters

At NAB this week Skype recognized the popularity of its platform with broadcasters and podcasters by announcing Skype TX. It’s combination hardware and software solution designed to bring Skype calls into a production workflow.

The company says this is a “studio grade” product, with high quality HD-SDI digital outputs. Although Skype says it will be “cost effective,” this probably means Skype TX will be priced out of the range for most DIY podcasters, though it may be in reach for bigger podcast networks. However, a big advantage to using Skype, compared to other digital communications technologies, is that the calls will remain free.

It will be interesting to learn more when the product gets closer to release.

How Mike Pesca Made the Jump from NPR to Slate

Back in February NPR sports correspondent Mike Pesca left public broadcasting to start a new daily news podcast for Slate. On the newest episode of Earwolf’s The Wolf Den podcast Slate editor David Plotz recounts how they were able to bring Pesca aboard. He also reveals Slate’s plans to invest more in podcasting this year, which includes a show for the site’s most popular feature, the advice column Dear Prudence.

I should note–in the spirit of full disclosure–that, as previously announced, I am working for Midroll Media, which is Earwolf’s parent company. As part of my duties I now have taken over as producer for The Wolf Den, where host and Midroll Media CEO Jeff Ullrich is going to focus more sharply on the business and future of podcasting and digital media as a whole.

The David Plotz episode is the first one that I worked on. You can read a blog post I wrote about it if you want to jump right to the juicy stuff.

I promise that I won’t be using Podcast Survivor to write about Earwolf news any more than any other podcast network (and I will always disclose my interest when I do). I just thought that this discussion with Plotz was particularly revealing and therefore interesting for anyone who follows podcasting.

With that I should note that I’m always interested in your tips about what’s happening in the podcasting world. If there’s a cool podcast I should know about, a cutting-edge network or other podcasting news, please drop me a line.


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