Issue 199,  published March 12, 2019

Tracking: March 12, 2019

  • WBUR general manager Charlie Kravetz is leaving the station. The development was announced an all-hands meeting with staff on Monday. It also comes on WBUR podcast chief Jessica Alpert’s last day at the organization; she’s leaving to start a new independent studio with John Perotti, called Rococo Punch.
  • With the 2020 presidential elections around the corner — oh dear god, I’m already tired — NBC News and MSNBC is said to be beefing up its podcast team to tackle the cycle. Executive producer of podcasts Steve Lickteig, formerly of Slate, tells Digiday that his team could grow to ten people, up from two, by the end of the year. (Looks like he just made a new hire yesterday, too.) Flashback to the 2016 season, where election and political podcasts rode a true, if not somewhat complicated, wave.
  • TechCrunch: “Spotify announces expanded Samsung partnership focused on pre-installs and free trials.” Hmm.
  • This American Life’s Shortcut — the digital tool, developed by Feel Train in collaboration with TAL alum Stephanie Foo, that allows podcast publishers to snip out favored moments within a podcast episode to be shared out across social media — has now been made easily usable by any audio publisher. Open source, baby! Check it out.
  • Speaking of This American Life: Serial co-creator and executive producer Julie Snyder is now also a “producer-at-large” for a new “music podcast label” called Signal Co. No. 1, which will also count Radiolab co-founder Mikel Ellcessor in its ranks. Again, Billboard has the report. Some readers took the report to mean that Snyder is leaving Serial Productions for the gig. This is not the case. The team tells me that it’s a side-gig.
  • From Nieman Lab: “Trump wants to kill federal funding for PBS and NPR (again); it won’t happen, but it’s still damaging.”