Bomber

As an audio medium, podcasting has been a natural fit for radio companies. But the appeal of the format is so strong that it’s now on the radar of television station owner Tegna. The owner of 49 television stations in 41 U.S. cities has announced the creation of Vault Studios, its first-ever digital content studio. Its first order of business will be to create podcasts pulled from real-life stories told by Tegna TV reporters in a move the company says will showcase stations’ high-quality storytelling.

“Engaging with our audiences in new and innovative ways – across multiple platforms – is essential to our growth,” said Adam Ostrow, Tegna’s chief digital officer. “Vault will draw on our decades of outstanding local journalism in areas such as true crime, cold cases and unsolved mysteries to create new content offerings for today’s digital consumer.”

First up in what is likely to be a series of podcasts is a series called Bomber. It tells the story of how law enforcement hunted down the 2018 Austin serial bomber and brought 19 days of terror to a sudden, cataclysmic end. The host of the podcast is WCNC-TV reporter Jason Puckett, who previously worked at Austin station KVUE-TV. The podcast includes first-hand accounts from residents, witnesses, victims’ families as it seeks to answer many of the questions that are still unresolved one year later, including what drove 23-year old Mark Anthony Conditt’s murderous spree to how he chose his victims and why the Austin Police Department says the case is still open, despite the FBI closing its investigation. “Bomber provides an inside look at the fear, panic and frantic hunt for the Austin bomber, including the harrowing twists and turns, the dead ends and the shocking end to a case that Austin residents will never forget,” Puckett said.

A sneak peek of the Bomber podcast was released March 8 timed to coincide with a half-hour special that aired on KVUE-TV. The first episode is slated to be published March 15 with new episodes set for release on subsequent Fridays.

“Audiences trust the original content we bring them every day,” said Will Johnson, Tegna’s executive producer of audio and podcasts. “Bringing stories like Bomber to a mass audience through podcasting is a next logical step to expand our formats and serve our audience in new, innovative ways.”

In addition to its TV stations, Tegna also owns two radio stations: adult hits “100.7 San Diego” KFMB-FM and news-talk KFMB (760) in San Diego.