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Tracking: March 7, 2019

(1) A quick update to the New York Times audio team expansion story: in addition to the names mentioned in Tuesday’s newsletter — Lisa Chow, Marc Georges, Adizah Eghan, and Kelly Prime — the official announcement post yesterday also made mention of another new hire: Eric Krupke, who joins as a news producer.

The post further mentioned that Julia Simon, previously on the Times’ broader audience development team, has officially joined the audio department as its new deputy director of audience and operations.

Also, yes, I incorrectly spelt Lisa’s surname in Tuesday’s newsletter: it’s Chow, not Chao. And yes, I am a fool who needs a copy-editor, which I will bring on one day when I have the budget to do so.

(2) Oh look! Slate has named a new editor-in-chief: Jared Hohlt, a New York Magazine veteran who actually started his career at Slate. Hohlt takes over the position left vacant by Julia Turner who left the digital magazine to join the revitalized Los Angeles Times in October. Lowen Liu had been serving as interim chief.

(3) Surprise, surprise: yesterday, Deadline printed that Wondery “is in talks with high-level show-runners to adapt” Over My Dead Body, its follow-up to Dr. Death and Dirty John. Note the framing in the lede, which characterizes the Los Angeles-based company as “stepping up its television activities.” Not sure if what we’re seeing here is any sort of change, necessarily; Wondery has been on a podcast-to-film and television-oriented strategy for a while. My question: now that Gimlet, which up until this point had been the other podcast firm with a distinctly prominent IP-slinging strategy, is under new ownership, will that company continue to push hard in Hollywood? Or will Wondery claim the bulk of the narrative here?

Anyway, Wondery is repped by UTA’s Oren Rosenbaum.

(4) Speaking of that company: Karo Chakhlasyan, formerly Wondery’s VP of Audience Acquisition, has moved over to Chartable, a podcast analytics company, where he will assume the throne as new Chief Operating Officer.

(5) The Panoply name is no more: having divested from the content business to wholly focus its attention into becoming a technology company, the Graham Holdings subsidiary will now formally be known as Megaphone, becoming eponymous with the platform it is peddling.

I’m pouring one out for the old name. Don’t know about you, but it feels like we’re closing in on the final beats of an era that started in late 2014.

(6) From AdExchanger: “Starting this week, Google will make podcast search results even more granular by returning specific episodes, rather than overall shows. Soon, Google hopes to place podcasts in search results even if the queries don’t specifically request a podcast. Google will use speech-to-text to understand audio content, and surface the program if it’s relevant to a search.”

A reader wrote in to highlight a clarification that was issued later: while Google is going to use transcriptions to index podcasts on its search engine, it will not publish those transcripts in full — thereby challenging the search results of podcast publishers that already produce and post episode transcripts on their website for discovery and traffic purposes. That reader was initially worried about this, made the inquiry to Google, and got that clarification back.