NewsBites2

… Radio veteran John Thomas is taking his cancer battle public with the launch of his podcast Cancer and Chill. Thomas, who has been battling a rare form of tissue cancer since October 2013, chronicles his battle in what he says is a podcast designed to help others in a similar fight. “When I was diagnosed I didn’t have a single person I knew who had Cancer and so I had to navigate it on my own, I don’t want anyone to ever be in that position,” Thomas said. In the show Thomas shares his insights on how to overcome cancer’s challenges, as well as offering tips and tools for creating a battle plan.

…The podcast listening app Pocket Casts is offering a free three-month trial of its Pocket Cast Plus app as a promotion for NPR, WNYC Studios and WBEZ Chicago, who along with This American Life have owned the app since May 2018. Pocket Casts adopted a freemium model last year and since then its user numbers have grown more than 20%. It still offers a paid model with premium features, such as access to cloud storage and customization options. That upgrade costs 99-cents a month or $10 per year.

…The podcast The Two Princes is headed for television screens. The Gimlet Media show is a scripted podcast targeting LGBT audiences. HBO Max is reportedly working on a deal with Gimlet to adapt the podcast into a one-hour animated special for the streaming service. Deadline reports there were multiple bidders for the IP and HBO came out on top. Released last summer, The Two Princes is described as a “modern retelling of a classic fairytale” that also “celebrates the joys and pitfalls of teenage romance, growing up, and facing your fears.”

… Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners has secured the movie rights to the sci-fi podcast Carrier. The series is created by Qcode and Dan Blank, who will also be writing and directing the movie. Engadget says actress Cynthia Erivo will star in the project. She’ll also produce the movie. Carrier is an audio drama that follows a female long-haul trucker named Raylene Watts. Read Podcast News Daily’s Q&A with Dan Black when Carrier launched last summer HERE.

…iHeartMedia’s talk WOR New York (910) adds the fashion business podcast, Always in Fashion, to its weekend lineup. The program, hosted by Mark Weber and his son Jess, will air Saturday nights from 8-9pm and Sunday nights from 7-8pm. “Throughout my career, I have worked with the best and that’s precisely what has led me to iHeartRadio’s 710 WOR,” Weber said in a release. “We’re thrilled to join the number one audio company and broadcast on one of the leading talk stations in NYC.” The program was previously carried on Cumulus Media’s crosstown talker WABC (770). 

…Spotify has begun rolling out its standalone Spotify Kids app with its first unveiling coming in the U.K. and Australia. Spotify Kids will initially include playlists that are designed to make it easy for kids to find music and stories from their favorite movies and TV shows. They’ll also be able to find a playlist geared toward to their favorite activity—or their least favorite chore. The company won’t rely on an algorithm to select programming but instead rely on a team of editors to curate the content. Spotify has been running a beta-test of the app since last October. Spotify Kids is ad-free and is instead part of the subscription Spotify Premium Family package. Spotify will enter a space that already sees apps like the four-year old iHeartRadio Family music app and Pinna’s kid-focused podcast service.

…Following the move of the public radio video platform VuHaus.com to Live Sessions on NPR.org, the public media organization updates its name to VuHaus Group. “VuHaus Group is expanding services to stations, supporting artists in new and creative ways, and helping underwriters connect to public media’s dedicated audiences,” Erik Langner, VuHaus Group President, said in a release. “With our recent partnership with NPR Music and the transition of our website to Live Sessions, we feel the timing is right for a new moniker and website.”