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Tracking: March 19, 2019

Issue 200. Crazy, huh? Look, I’ve never held a proper job for more than nine months, and so it’s more a surprise to me than anyone else that I’ve sent out two hundred of these comically lengthy newsletters for a living. (And that doesn’t even count all the Insider and emergency issues.) Running this thing is hard, hard work — there hasn’t been a second when I’m not thinking about the newsletter since the first issue went out way back in November 2014 — but it’s been a really rewarding experience, and the fact never escapes me that it’s a privilege to serve this readership every week. So thanks for being a reader, and to the Insider subscribers, thanks for helping to keep the lights on.

While we’re here: I made two media appearances last week where I had the opportunity to talk through bigger picture stuff: CNN’s Reliable Sources podcast with Brian Stelter, and The Colin McEnroe Show on Connecticut Public Radio.

Also, in a nice bit of timing: New York Magazine is running a big package this week on podcasts, which includes features, infographics, and a big fat list that’ll trickle out over the next few days. Check it out.


  • PRX and Google have opened up applications for the second round of the Google Podcasts Creator Program. Here’s the announcement post, and the deadline is on April 14. For more background on the program, check out this Q&A that Caroline Crampton did with PRX and Google chiefs last November.
  • Maximum Fun has kicked off this year’s iteration of its annual fundraising drive!
  • Slate’s Slow Burn won a National Magazine Award for the podcast category last week. The category finalists included OPB and Longreads’ Bundyville; the New Yorker Radio Hour “The Longest Distance Con” two-parter; and three episodes of Queerly Beloved.
  • From the LA Times: “From its new $38-million home, can radio tastemaker KCRW adapt to a podcast world?” Los Angeles, of course, is also home to KPCC, another podcast agitator. Seems to me like a rivalry to watch. Also, I’ve been saying this in private a couple of times now, but I might as well say it out loud now: is podcasting’s center of gravity is swinging westward these days?
  • This is fascinating, but unsurprising. Also: mildly dystopian. From the Wall Street Journal: “When Corporate America Joins In the Podcast Craze, ‘It Gets Boring Fast.’” Do note that the story mostly tackles podcasts created for internal company communication — think of your standard corporate newsletter that floats about an organization letting its workers know about, oh you know, stuff.
  • A quick shout-out to Lina Misitzis, the great producer who most recently worked on Jon Ronson’s audio projects The Butterfly Effect and The Last Days of August (both for Audible). She’s now at This American Life.
  • From the BBC: “MySpace admits losing 12 years’ worth of music uploads.” Yikes. Remember that all things can be lost, even on the internet.