Buzz No 27, Podcast News September 3-9

Each week in Buzz, we’ll give you a roundup of our favorite podcast reads from around the internet.

September 4, 2015: Forrest Wickman of Slate,Stephen Colbert’s Spoofs of Podcast Ads for His Late Show Podcast Are Dumb, Brilliant

That’s the secret of podcast ads: They take the much-ballyhooed intimacy with the host that podcasts offer, and they exploit it.

There’s nothing as dreamy as Stephen Colbert talking funnies straight into your earholes. He launched his podcast in June about making The Late Show, which premiered September 8. Though the podcast is quipy and diary-style, what’s brilliant are his parodies of podcast ads, as Wickman points out in this piece. Wickman also offers a continuous stream of Colbert’s parodies for your listening pleasure. The faux ads so clearly articulate the major pitfalls current audio ads fall into that we doubt very much that even a 1,500-word essay on the subject could do a better job of bringing those issues to light. And, just when we all thought that our insider’s love for podcasts was sailing away from us into the mainstream, now there are parodies that only the diehards can truly understand.

September 8, 2015: AIR Media, 2015 New Voices Scholars

The 2015 class was selected from an extremely competitive field of early career talent. This year’s scholars cover a 30-year range of ages, and include experimental social activists as well as beat reporters, those who came up in well-known institutions and those who bring unconventional experience to their work. They are distinguished by excellence in craft, commitment to diversity, and potential to become the future of public media.

Every year AIR provides scholarships to a roster of diverse talents who it identifies as the future of public media. These are individuals who offer unique perspectives through their work and who AIR would like to help develop and connect with industry leaders. It’s a competitive award and an honor to be chosen. The Timbre congratulates the 2015 class of New Voices scholars.

September 6, 2015: Rubia Chaudry for The Guardian, “Serial catch-up: what happened next in the case of Adnan Syed

This is not just citizen journalism, this is citizen investigation and crowd-sourced sleuthing.

We know. We know. Serial, again? Hard pass, right? But this one is written by Rubia Chaudry, the lawyer who originally brought the case to Sarah Koenig & co. And yeah, we’ve all got access to her in Undisclosed, should we attempt to listen to that painstakingly detailed nightmare of a podcast, but here she compliments her listenership without the long-winded legalese and technical jargon. The piece may require your patience too–if you actually make it the end–which is when we learn how Syed’s case was affected by what she calls, in a wonderful turn of phrase, “crowd-sourced sleuthing.” Moral of the story is: podcast listeners can band together to make a difference IRL.

September 3, 2015: Will Flanagan of Chicago Inno, “Dynasty: How Jaime Black Created Chicago’s Longest-Running Music Podcast

Dynasty began in 2005 when Black, who has been in local radio for the past 15 years, stumbled across the medium while reading about broadcasting trends online.

‘I was just paying attention,’ said Black. ‘I was working as a journalist and interning at Q101 and I was inherently engaged with what the internet was becoming. When I read about podcasting, it made sense for what I wanted to do.’

The early days of podcasting were last week for many people, yet we know there must have been a few pioneers out there well before then. Jaime Black was one of them, although we didn’t know who he was before reading this piece. Perhaps that’s the point. 2005 podcast superstars are about as common as AOL bloggers these days, but that shouldn’t diminish their early contributions and championing of the medium. We don’t think much about the internet expeditionaries who podcasted from the true beginning. Even an early adopter like This American Life was always a popular radio show first. Ten years ago, podcasting would have offered creative freedom but promise of little else–like say an audience. Oh, how talking into a microphone and posting it online has changed.

September 4, 2015: Nancy Groves from The Guardian’s “The Moth In Australia: Not Stand Up, Not Self-help, Just Storytelling

What I love about podcasts is that we live in this world where you often go out trying to convince everyone to buy what you’re selling. Our approach is the opposite. You create something you really love and trust that other people who would also love it find their way to it. We’re not trying to buy them.

The Moth is a tour de force in the world of audio storytelling. What began as a modest project to bring on-stage stories to audiences in New York has grown into a global effort with an accompanying podcast. As it bears down on two decades of existence, artistic director Catherine Burns discusses how The Moth has changed and what function it serves for audiences and artists alike. She provides as good an explanation as any for why honest to goodness storytelling still matters–and always will.

September 3, 2015: Charles Poladian for the International Business Times, “Go Inside the Last Audio Cassette Factory in this New Video

I think you could characterize our operating model as stubbornness and stupidity.

Kids being adorably confused plus nostalgia means that The Timbre is fully onboard. This piece from the IBT doesn’t have anything to do with podcasts, but we’re pretty sure you’ll be as delighted as we were by both of the wonderful videos and seeing that the relics of our youth remain: the Walkman (it’s even got the 1980’s price tag of $10!) and audio cassette tapes. Business is booming for the National Audio Co., as far as slanging blank tapes are concerned, and we don’t want to speak out of turn, but we’re pretty sure hipsters have something to do with it.


September 6, 2015: Stephen Gugliociello of The Times, “The Times launches three new podcasts — how to get them, and what you need to know  

One is Stephen Gugliociello interviewing other journalists about stories, one is about sports, and one is called Game On with no other info available as of yet.


September 6, 2015: Michael Sawh of TrustedReviews, “Vinyl revival and high-resolution headphones: The best audio tech of IFA 2015

Truly wireless headphones, Tesla technology headphones, sweet-looking Sony noise-cancelling headphones and some sort of Marshall London Android smartphone that must be special, though we aren’t smart enough to know why, are all worth a gander if you’re looking to upgrade you setup.


September 4, 2015: Sarah Shaffi of The Bookseller, “Sphere and Penguin launch crime podcasts

If you’re down with Crime writer Mark Billingham or authors Michael Carlson and Tim Weaver, there are a couple shows that will be right up your alley.


September 3, 2015: Meg Dalton from MediaShift, “NPR To Incubate Innovation With Storytelling Lab

With its new Storytelling Lab, NPR has created a designated space to think about and experiment with the act of storytelling not just in radio or podcasts, but across all platforms. The lab provides an opportunity for NPR employees to pitch, pursue and develop passion projects away from the pressures of their day-to-day responsibilities.


September 9, 2015: The Cleveland Browns Launched a podcast, Brownscast

For the 2015 NFL season, the Cleveland Browns offered an outsider complete access to their organization. In each episode of the Brownscast, host Max Linsky will interview someone who helps make the football you enjoy every Sunday about how they do their job. It’s a whole new way to learn about the team.


September 8, 2015: Panoply Launched a new podcast, Getting In

For millions of American teenagers and their parents, adolescence is increasingly defined by one all-consuming goal: Getting into the right college. “Getting In” is a real-time podcast following a diverse group of New York-area high school seniors through the exhilarating and harrowing process of applying to college.


Seth Lucas: “Matt Lieber is Everything

Illustrations dedicated to the weekly phrases about Matt Lieber on the Reply All podcast.

It’s very funny.


September 2, 2015: Save Salt, “An Important Update From The Save Salt Team

Salt is now exploring a merger with the Maine College of Art (MECA), with support from the Quimby Family Foundation (QFF).

It’s still not clear if Salt will survive, but its alumni are still hard at work to save the institution.



Author Description

The Timbre brings thoughtful and thought-provoking analysis to podcasts and the larger culture of podcasting.