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News Rundown: July 20, 2021

James Boggs is leaving Apple Podcasts. Longtime podcast operators should be familiar with Boggs, who served as the World Wide Manager for Apple Podcasts between 2010 and 2020 — which is to say, through this most recent boom. He had transitioned into a new role within the team, Head of Editorial, at the start of last year, and is now departing Apple entirely after 17 years at the company. (17 years at the same place! I can’t personally fathom it.) It’s my understanding that he’s due for a long break, after which he’ll set off to start something new.

This is the second notable Apple-Podcasts-related personnel exit in recent weeks, after head of content N’Jeri Eaton’s departure at the beginning of this month. Eaton would eventually be named Head of Audio at Netflix.

James Boggs is leaving Apple Podcasts. Longtime podcast operators should be familiar with Boggs, who served as the World Wide Manager for Apple Podcasts between 2010 and 2020 — which is to say, through this most recent boom. He had transitioned into a new role within the team, Head of Editorial, at the start of last year, and is now departing Apple entirely after 17 years at the company. (17 years at the same place! I can’t personally fathom it.) It’s my understanding that he’s due for a long break, after which he’ll set off to start something new.

This is the second notable Apple-Podcasts-related personnel exit in recent weeks, after head of content N’Jeri Eaton’s departure at the beginning of this month. Eaton would eventually be named Head of Audio at Netflix.

Little morning shows everywhere. Spotify appears to be building a daily production based in Nashville, Tennessee, according to this job listing. Here’s the key part of the description:

We’re assembling a team in Nashville to work together every weekday morning to create show segments related to news, talk of the day, music, and the latest in the country music scene.

This is an intriguing development in and of itself, but the intrigue is compounded by the fact that this isn’t the first such rumbling of Spotify looking to build weekday-morning-oriented productions in recent months. Though the listing is no longer active, there had been another similarly structured job posting back in March, this one pegged to Los Angeles and with the following description:

Spotify is launching a new daily show based in Los Angeles, publishing on weekday afternoons. This show will mix music and talk segments, in a modern take on afternoon drivetime radio. We are assembling a new production team to develop and launch a show that focuses on music, news of the day, and pop culture. This production will work under the direction of Gimlet’s New Formats team.

When contacted about the Nashville posting, a Spotify spokesperson stated they did not have anything more to share at this time.

Selected Notes.

  • Mat George, co-host of the popular She Rates Dogs podcast, was killed in a hit-and-run over the weekend. Here’s the Los Angeles Times write-up
  • The Biden administration has transferred its first detainee from Guantánamo Bay: Abdul Latif Nasser, the subject of Radiolab‘s miniseries, “The Other Latif.” Here’s the New York Times write-up.
  • APM’s Marketplace and Cumulus Radio are now offering Marketplace Minute, their podcast collaboration consisting of 60-second long episodes that was launched last year, to public radio stations. This is interesting to me: a spokesperson told me that this marks “the first time that a commercial radio company, Cumulus Media’s Westwood One, and a public media organization, like APM’s Marketplace, have teamed up to bring a product to market across public and commercial radio.” Hmm.
  • From Axios: “The Daily Wire debuts morning podcast to compete with ‘The Daily.'” Sure, guy.
  • Edison Research rolled out its second annual Latino Podcast Listener report last week. 
  • Clubhouse has launched a direct-messaging feature, calling it Backchannel.
  • I have a lot of thoughts on the ongoing discussion around the use of AI-facilitated voice reconstruction in Road Runner, Morgan Neville’s documentary about Anthony Bourdain that came out this weekend, but I’ll keep those to myself. Here, instead, I’ll just note that it’s a subject audio documentarians should pay rather close attention to, for obvious reasons. On this particular flashpoint, begin, and end, with The New Yorker’s Helen Rosner.