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Podcast Survivor

Podcast Survivor: The Verge Goes Behind the Scenes of Gimlet, PRX and ESPN

I didn’t travel over the holiday weekend. Instead I had friends visiting from Chicago, so I’m a little chagrined to admit I didn’t listen to any podcasts. If you traveled, I hope your journeys were made a little more enjoyable by some good ’casts. If so, please comment on this post and share.

This week I just have a few behind-the-scenes stories from the holiday weekend to share.

New York Times writer Dave Itzkoff visited Tom Scharpling’s new studio space to talk with the radio host about the Best Show’s resurrection as a podcast. Amongst the interesting details is that Scharpling is getting assistance from Marc Maron’s producer, Brendan McDonald, who helped launch WTF in 2009, and who Maron credits as essential to the show.

In a video posted last Friday from The Verge Deputy Editor David Pierce goes behind the scenes of Alex Blumberg’s Gimlet Media, PRX and ESPN’s podcast studios. We get an insider’s view of Blumberg working through copy with his colleagues, and he expounds on the critical value of editing. At ESPN producer Josh Macri says they want to produce it to the same quality as radio shows, to the extent to which they are looking to phase out “two dudes and a microphone” shows in favor of podcasts with “big production elements and segments.”

Speaking of shows with bigger production elements, the currently hottest podcast in the world, Serial, has successfully funded a second season. According to a post by Emily Condon on the Serial blog, that’s thanks to a combination of the show’s brief donation drive and traditional sponsorships. The premiere date is unknown, though she writes, “we’ll be working on it as soon as this season ends.”


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