News Bites 220

...Following Libsyn’s announcement that it has raised $25 million from a group of investors, filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission show Carmac Partners has increased its stake in the company to 12.2%. It owns 4.27 million of the total 35 million shares outstanding. Meantime new shareholder Hudson Executive Capital has taken a 6.8% stake in Libsyn. In a private placement it paid $9 million to buy 2.4 million shares for $3.75 per share, or a slight discount to the $4.05 Libsyn shares are currently trading.

...Frqncy Media, the podcast production company that has worked with brands like Coca-Cola and personalities such as Jane Goodall and Diane Von Furstenberg, is demanding the just-launched streaming platform Frqncy change its name. Freqncy Media founder Michelle Khouri says in a Twitter post that there has been “lots of confusion happening” between the two businesses. “I launched and have been investing in this brand since June 2018. Looks like you didn't do a search when naming your brand. Please stop co-opting mine,” she wrote.

...The entire 11-season catalog of Adam Roche’s podcast The Secret History of Hollywood has been optioned for film by New Republic Pictures and writer-producer Laeta Kalogridis. Deadline reports the deal also includes any future seasons of the podcast. Kalogridis and New Republic reportedly plan to develop each of the seasons as its own project. It will begin with a feature film based on the podcast’s sixth season entitled “Shadows” about horror movie pioneer Val Lewton. “Adam’s podcast is a revelation and the perfect material to mine Hollywood’s drama behind the dramas,” said Kalogridis.

...The podcast hosting platform Captivate has released the second generation of its platform. What the company calls a “massive new update” that introduces over 20 new features, improvements and performance upgrades across the entire dashboard. There are also simplified workflows, new promotional tools, and additional customizable elements. Most of the moves are geared toward simplification. “We’ve made the whole platform more intuitive and removed every unnecessary click, putting the tools you need within one click of the dashboard,” said co-founder Mark Asquith in a blog post announcing the update. There are some additions too, such as a new “Promotion” section” to help users promote their shows. Asquith says the changes “lay the groundwork for some very exciting things to come.”

...The forthcoming adaptation of the ABC News Audio podcast The Dropout continues to add more big Hollywood names. Variety reports the list of guest stars on the Hulu series now includes William H. Macy, Laurie Metcalf, Elizabeth Marvel, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Kate Burton, Stephen Fry, Michel Gill, Michael Ironside, Bill Irwin, and Josh Pais. The Hulu series will star Amanda Seyfried who will play Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes, whose medical testing company collapsed after its promised technology failed to work and instead put consumer’s health at risk. 

...Bon Appétit is relaunching its Healthyish podcast, one year after it and other series were put on hiatus at the Conde Naste magazine after allegations of racism and a lack of diversity at the company surfaced. The revived Healthyish will begin with a six-episode series hosted by Editorial Director Amanda Shapiro, who is also founding editor of Bon Appétit’s Healthyish website. Shapiro will interview professional chefs, home cooks and foragers about what it means to eat, drink, and live healthy(ish). 

... Dave “Chachi” Denes’ radio-centric podcast series Chachi Loves Everybody has dropped a pair of new episodes. One features Jacobs Media President Fred Jacobs the other includes a conversation with James Baker, the onetime Los Angeles air personality who is now leading a pair of radio stations in Saudi Arabia. Denes is President of the radio imaging and voiceover company Benztown.

...Triton Digital has partnered with PayTunes, an audio ad aggregation platform based in India. Through this integration, buyers that use PayTunes can now leverage Triton’s programmatic platform to buy audio ads in streaming radio, podcasts, and other audio services. Triton says the integration increases buyers’ access to global audio inventory. “We are pleased to partner with PayTunes on this integration, and to provide the buyers and agencies that use their platform with access to top-tier digital audio and podcast inventory from around the world,” said Triton’s Benjamin Masse in the announcement.

...Qatar Airways is launching a podcast about the UEFA European Football Championship. Called The Euro Show, the podcast leverages Qatar’s role as an official sponsor of the summer soccer championship UEFA Euro. The podcast will feature match analysis, behind-the-scenes interviews, dedicated team updates, match previews and more. “The Euro Show will be a must for fans to tune in for expert analysis, engage with each other and receive latest updates from the heart of the action,” said CEO H.E. Mr. Akbar Al Baker in the announcement.

...The Two-Up podcast Shipworm has been picked up for film adaptation by Studiocanal and The Picture Company reports Deadline. Described as a feature-length audio movie, Shipworm is a scripted narrative podcast about a man who wakes up to find he’s been implanted with an untraceable earpiece while sleeping. The series was written by Zack Akers and produced by Skip Bronkie, Shipworm is the fourth podcast from Two-Up, the studio known for breaking ground in fiction (Limetown), musical (36 Questions), and documentary podcasts (The Wilderness). 

...The Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington and the Mexican Institute of Radio are looking to help young audio producers reach a wider audience. It is holding the “Entrada Libre” contest inviting U.S. residents of Mexican origin between 18 and 35 years old to submit a podcast about their stories of migration. Organizers say the purpose is fostering creativity as well as strengthening the multicultural identity. Those interested can submit a three-minute Spanish-language podcast by June 18. Ten winners will have their show distributed. More details HERE.