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Insider Notes: November 1, 2018

Hot Docs Podcast Festival, Missing Richard Simmons Season 2, Logan Paul "pivots" to podcasts, Lore's 100.

Good morning from Toronto, everyone. I’m here to attend the Hot Docs Podcast Festival, where I’ll be moderating a panel with N’Jeri Eaton, NPR’s Deputy Director of Programming and New Audience, and Leslie Merklinger, the CBC’s Head of Podcasts. We’re going to be talking about what they are looking for when thinking about the kinds of shows they want to develop from the vantage point of their respective companies. Which should be interesting! If there’s anything I enjoy more than plumbing through the rational or irrational thought processes behind creative development, it’s doing that for folks representing the interests of very large public (or public-oriented) organizations.

Anyway, I’ve been taking a bunch of meetings and traveling over the past 48 hours, which means this Insider might be a little thin on my part. Caroline’s got an interesting write-up on the launch of the BBC Sounds up, though, so she’s going to shoulder this guy. I’ll throw whatever Hot Docs finding I have in tomorrow’s Insider.

Let’s go.

And you’re rushing Headlong, you’ve got a new goal. This morning, Documentarian Dan Taberski, producer Henry Molofsky, and the conjoined Topic-Pineapple Street team released a short update in the Missing Richard Simmons podcast feed officially announcing a follow-up project: Surviving Y2K. I’ve actually highlighted the existence of the follow-up before, when I published my Fall 2018 preview for Vulture back in September, but this is the first formal word on the matter from the folks themselves.

Don’t forget the extra interesting element about this development: Surviving Y2K is being pitched as the second season of an anthology series called Headlong, which retroactively claims Missing Richard Simmons as its debut season. A little confusing, but actually, really smart: it retains the same podcast feed with all those people already subscribed to it, and it aesthetically creates a sense of continuity for Taberski’s work.

I’m pretty excited that Taberski, who comes from television, is continuing to work in this field, and I’m interested to see what ends up being his recurring themes as an audio maker. Sophomore efforts, particularly of surprise hits, tend to carry the complicated weight of working within the legacy of its first season and still being an insufficient incremental data point to properly represent the notion of an overall body of work. (See Serial season 2. Also: 2 Fast 2 Furious.)

Anyway, I’m rambling. What I’m trying to say is: I’m looking forward to this.

Logan Paul, the controversial YouTube star, is pivoting to podcasts, apparently. The Hollywood Reporter had the story, but the fine folks over at Vulture has the sum-up you want: After successfully incinerating his own YouTube career earlier this year by filming a dead body for spectacle in Japan’s suicide forest, Logan Paul has set his sights on a new platform to torch. As part of his redemption tour, Paul tells The Hollywood Reporter that he plans to phase out his YouTube channel and pivot to podcasting. He’ll reportedly launch Impaulsive (“a play on my last name and my tendencies,” get it?) “in the near future,” and has built a full broadcast studio in his home somewhere next to the trampoline, boxing ring, and that other studio where he and his mini-me brother, Jake Paul, make “music.” Oh ffs. Didn’t anybody tell that guy there’s no money in podcasting.

This is intriguing. Get this: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Audible have secured the book and audiobook rights to Guy Raz’s How I Built This. The deal was brokered by UTA, and this is the truly mind-exploding-gif part of the whole situation: Raz will narrate the audiobook version of the book adaptation of his interview podcast.

Lore published its 100th episode this week. That’s a lotta ‘sodes. Creator Aaron Mahnke marked the occasion on Twitter, noting that the podcast has nabbed 160 million listens across the three and a half years it’s been around.

Thinking about the fine folks over at Los Angeles public radio station KPCC, which had to deal with a bomb scare this week.