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NPR prioritizes radio over podcasts with steep cuts

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That is Sizzling Pod, The Verge’s e-newsletter about podcasting and the audio trade. Sign up here for extra.

It’s a busy information day, so I gained’t waste time: Adnan Syed’s homicide conviction has been reinstated, NPR cancels a few of its standalone podcasts, and Slate takes its podcasts to YouTube.

NPR cuts consequence within the cancellation of 4 podcasts

Final week, NPR enacted its deepest layoffs since the Great Recession as a way to make up for a $30 million shortfall. Ten % of the employees — greater than 100 folks — had been laid off, and all however one job vacancy was faraway from the community’s careers website. The cuts touched all sectors of the group, together with the enterprise facet and radio manufacturing, however podcasting seems to have been hardest hit. 

None of NPR’s radio reveals had been canceled on account of the cuts, however the identical can’t be mentioned for the community’s podcasts. Seasonal podcasts together with Invisibilia, Louder Than a Riot, and Tough Translation have stopped manufacturing, as has Wait Wait… Don’t Inform Me! spinoff Everybody & Their Mother. Moreover, the employees of every day science podcast Quick Wave introduced that they must reduce to three days a week

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No person was going to be proud of the cuts regardless of how they got here down, nevertheless it was stunning how swiftly NPR deprioritized its podcast-only lineup. And as many observers famous, the lower reveals represented a number of the community’s most important makes an attempt at diversifying its tales and expertise. For those who haven’t but, I like to recommend studying Nick Quah’s latest piece for Vulture on why the cuts are unhealthy information for the way forward for NPR:

The media and podcast world quickly modified round NPR, and for a number of years, it appeared just like the public-radio establishment was equally altering in response by way of the way it thinks about operations, range, the way it sounds, who it serves. However moments of deep crises are likely to deliver out elementary identities, each in folks and in establishments. NPR dropping so a lot of its folks is already such a horrible factor. What’s moreover distressing about this second is what it portends for the chances of NPR’s future — and what it reveals, maybe, about how NPR has at all times considered itself.

The community says it isn’t giving up on narrative storytelling, regardless of the cuts. “These initiatives embody a number of the finest work NPR has ever carried out. We’re exploring methods this work can proceed in different types. We’re dropping some wonderful folks,” mentioned NPR spokesperson Isabel Lara. “Our narrative journalism efforts will proceed with Embedded and Up First Sunday, which can showcase the most effective longform journalism initiatives from NPR and throughout the general public radio system.”

Adnan Syed’s homicide conviction is reinstated over a procedural concern

Adnan Syed, the primary topic of the 2014 podcast megahit Serial, made headlines again final yr when his 2000 homicide conviction was overturned. Now, that conviction has been reinstated by a Maryland appeals courtroom.

The courtroom sided with an enchantment introduced forth by the household of Hae Min Lee, Syed’s ex-girlfriend and the sufferer of a 1999 homicide. The household argued that they weren’t given sufficient discover to attend the September listening to that led to Syed’s launch.

Syed’s conviction was overturned after state prosecutors turned up new DNA proof that didn’t implicate Syed. The choice that got here out as we speak doesn’t change that truth, nevertheless it does imply that one other listening to will must be held to reaffirm his launch.

Slate takes its podcasts to YouTube

The lure of YouTube is inescapable. Slate is making its lineup of podcasts, together with Sluggish Burn, Political Gabfest, and Amicus With Dahlia Lithwick, obtainable on the streamer. Slate is following the lead of legacy podcast retailers like Freakonomics Radio Community and NPR in bringing audio-only reveals to YouTube, which has change into the most-used podcast platform for listeners, in keeping with latest surveys.

“Discoverability has change into one of many greatest challenges throughout the podcast trade, and we see this as an actual alternative to construct scale and attain a brand new, untapped viewers on YouTube, which has change into the world’s most-used podcast platform.” Charlie Kammerer, Slate’s president and chief income officer, mentioned in a press release.

The timing is smart. YouTube not too long ago rolled out its podcast creation instruments in YouTube Studio and is making ready for the launch of podcasts on YouTube Music. Whereas audio-only podcasts are nonetheless fairly clunky on the primary platform, podcast leaders on the firm promise a more elegant audio experience inside YouTube Music.

Apple Podcasts provides channels tab to library, brings extra episodes into Up Subsequent queues

Apple has rolled out some podcast updates the corporate first announced in February. Now, Apple Podcasts customers will be capable to browse reveals of their libraries utilizing the channels tab, which lumps in reveals from the identical writer in a single place. Plus, CarPlay will now characteristic normal Apple Podcasts capabilities, like Browse and Up Subsequent.

Moreover, the app has adjusted which episodes seem in listeners’ Up Subsequent queues. Earlier than, it was restricted to new episodes from reveals that listeners already comply with. Now, the lineup will even incorporate episodes from reveals that customers don’t comply with however have saved to their library or have began enjoying. It undoubtedly looks as if an enchancment to the Up Subsequent expertise (not all people follows reveals they take heed to) and may very well be helpful in constructing listening habits. 

Amy Poehler companions with Cadence13 for brand new scripted comedy podcast

Whereas Cadence13’s mother or father firm organizes a stock split to stay on the New York Stock Exchange (extra on that later this week for Insiders), the studio has introduced on another Saturday Night Live legend to beef up its comedy choices. Cadence13 is working with Amy Poehler’s Paper Kite Productions to provide a three-season present that parodies completely different podcast genres. The primary season, Say Extra with Dr? Sheila, starring Poehler herself because the titular therapist, will publish later this yr.

The Podcast Present London is 2 months away

The Podcast Present London is returning for its second yr on Might twenty fourth and twenty fifth, with two days of programming and a huge lineup of audio system together with Crime Junkie’s Ashley Flowers and Intercourse Really’s Alice Levine. For those who’re all in favour of attending, we’ve partnered with the group over there to get you all a reduction: comply with this link and use code “HOTPOD” at checkout for 10 % off normal one- and two-day passes. P.S. ticket costs go up on Wednesday subsequent week (April fifth), so that you’ll save extra when you seize tickets quickly.

That’s all for now! I’ll see you subsequent week. 

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