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Tracking: April 5, 2019

(1) Kim Gittleson, formerly of the BBC and APM’s Marketplace, is the new host of the Wall Street Journal’s daily news podcast, What’s News. She starts her tenure as the show undergoes what she calls a “slow revamp”, presumably to help it better find its niche in the now-crowded field of daily current affairs shows. It’s unclear yet whether this has anything to do with the WSJ partnership with Gimlet on a daily news podcast, which was announced in December but has yet to emerge.

(2) A reminder: the UK government’s new “audio content fund” is now open for applications until noon on 29 April. I was very pro this new way of opening up broadcast commissions back when it was announced in February; if it can live up to its aims of improving diversity and accessibility then I think the fund will have been a very good thing indeed. More details and instructions on how to submit here.

(3) Some changes at the top of Bauer Media Group, the media conglomerate behind UK radio stations such as Kiss, Kerrang, Magic and others (they also recently bought Jazz FM and launched a new easy listening station for all the centrist dads out there, Scala, which is getting decent write-ups so far). Paul Keenan, previously CEO, becomes President of Audio with a remit to develop “radio, webcasting and podcasts”. It’s a new role, and further signals the group’s intentions to further develop its audio offering — they’ve also been buying a lot of local radio stations recently.

(4) Audioboom, the monetisation and content company that has a substantial share of the UK podcast market via shows like The Anfield Wrap and No Such Thing As A Fish, has released an update showing Q1 revenue of $4.6 million. Another number of note: their revenue per 1,000 listens in the US now stands at an average of $23.77. They’re also publicising some new content deals, including a renewal of their arrangement to run the official Formula 1 podcast through to 2021 and an extension of their contract with the US true crime show Undisclosed. Audioboom is boasting of big year-on-year increases in revenue and sales, no doubt as a way of showing that they’ve bounced back from the ill-fated reverse takeover attempt of Triton Digital in Q1 of 2018 that left Audioboom in need of emergency loans.