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Podcasting News: WNYC Acquires New ‘Casts, Baseball Shows Blacked Out

In this week’s podcasting news: WNYC launches and acquires new podcasts; MLB and Apple accidentally black out baseball podcasts; Podcast-originated Comedy Bang! Bang! and Maron return to IFC.

WNYC Acquires Two Podcasts, Launches a Third

Further expanding the public radio podcast roster, New York’s WNYC announced three new shows. Two of the podcasts are hosted by women and supported by a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for gender diversity in programming.

WNYC just launched “Death, Sex & Money,” hosted by political reporter Anna Sale. The show features “intimate chats with both boldface names and everyday people about issues often left out of ‘polite’ conversation.”

The other two shows were independently produced and have now completed deals to be co-produced by WNYC. Host/producer Hillary Frank launched her parenting podcast “The Longest Shortest Time” in 2010. “The Sporkful”, also launched in 2010, is a podcast about eating hosted by food blogger and TV host Dan Pashman.

It’s interesting, and another sign of podcasting’s growth, that a public radio station is choosing to become co-producer of two existing podcasts rather than launching its own. It’s more than a podcast joining a network or becoming syndicated, since WNYC is essentially taking a stake in the shows. This seems to be an indication that born-digital podcasts are being treated more on a par with broadcast programs, with audiences and name-recognition that’s at least as valuable as ones that are born on broadcast.

Now, I don’t typically cover podcast launches every week. In part this is a practical concern. Way too many podcasts hit the ’net every week for me to cover them fairly.

More importantly, I’m primarily concerned with news and trends that chart the growth of podcasting as a medium in its own right. That’s why I wrote about the debut of Slate’s The Gist last week, and why I’m covering WNYC’s new podcasts this week. If you know of a podcast or network that marks something unique or pivotal in podcasting please do drop me a line and let me know about it.

Baseball Podcasts Accidentally Blacked Out

Baseball podcasts experienced an unexpected blackout last week as a result of an apparent miscommunication between Major League Baseball and Apple. According to NBC Sports’ Hardball Talk blog MLB sent a notice to Apple regarding fan podcasts that use trademarked team logos and names in their titles, requesting that Apple “have these trademarks removed from the podcast titles and thumbnails.”

But what actually happened is that Apple removed the podcasts entirely from the iTunes directory. MLB says this isn’t what it wanted, and that the removal must have been an “oversight.” Of course, MLB also received quite a few outraged emails and messages from fans. As of this week it looks like the podcasts have returned to iTunes.

Comedy Bang! Bang! and Maron Return for New Seasons

Last week I failed to mention that the new seasons of two podcast-originated shows debuted on IFC, Maron and Comedy Bang! Bang! Luckily, if you’re like me and don’t have cable, IFC has them available to stream online.

And if that isn’t enough Marc Maron for you, he stars in an episode of Pitchfork TV’s short animated series Frames. In this video Maron recounts his interviews with famous musicians, zooming in to focus on his encounter with a shirtless Iggy Pop.

We cover podcasting news every Wednesday in our Podcast Survivor feature.


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