A Florida public radio station is racking up the downloads with its first show, an exploration of the science mystery that’s become known as the "Betz Sphere.” USA Today uses the fight over Reno strip clubs as the basis for a podcast about gentrification. Renown couples therapist and TED Talk regular Esther Perel takes on workplace relationships. And Team Coco, the production unit tied to comedian Conan O’Brien, takes a satirical scripted comedic look at Silicon Valley.
Here’s some of what’s new in podcasting this week:
Odd Ball is a podcast produced by WJCT Jacksonville, FL (89.9) and reporter Lindsey Kilbride. The show explores the bizarre tale of a family that found a metal sphere on their property that started vibrating and seemingly rolled with its own volition. The Navy and UFO experts showed up, and soon so did the public. Today, the family doesn’t speak of the ball that came to be known as the "Betz Sphere.” In the podcast, Kilbride aims to figure out what the ball could have been. Odd Ball is the first podcast from WJCT Public Media and since releasing its first episode last month the show has had more than 260,000 downloads.
Smartr is a new scripted comedy podcast from Team Coco, the production unit tied to comedian Conan O’Brien. The Luminary exclusive takes listeners on a tour of the tech start-up. Hosted by venture capitalist billionaire Noa Lukas, the satirical scripted podcast will feature interviews with a next generation of CEOs, giving them advice on how to grow without being hindered by the “dinosaur” concepts of regulations, public opinion, and basic morality.
The City, the investigative podcast from USA Today, returns for a second season. This time the team will look at the clashes over the strip clubs of Reno, Nevada, as the city transforms into an offshoot of Silicon Valley. City boosters want to kick Reno’s aging strip clubs out of downtown to make way for tech giants like Tesla and Google. The City was created by host and executive producer Robin Amer, and the USA Today team collaborated with the Reno Gazette Journal on the second season.
“Season 2 is about ordinary people dealing with extraordinary circumstances. They’re trying to save their homes, protect their livelihoods, and find their bearings as Reno changes around them,” says Amer. “As unique as their stories are, in many ways this story is not unique to Reno. I think their voices will resonate at a time when so many American cities are changing and gentrifying.”
Hunting Warhead is a new podcast that’s an international co-production between CBC Podcasts and Norway’s VG newspaper. The show takes listeners on a chase across the globe to rescue vulnerable children and dismantle the largest child abuse site on the dark web. Host Daemon Fairless has spent years researching and writing about the psychology of violent men. His work is a six-episode series that debuts Nov. 5. The producers note the podcast doesn't include graphic details, but does include conversations with the investigators and criminals themselves.
Treasure Island 2020 is a new scripted podcast that’s described as a 21st century reimagining of the Robert Louis Stevenson classic novel podcast in the tradition of the great radio dramas of the past. The series was created by BYUradio, the streaming station created by Brigham Young University that’s also a channel on SiriusXM Radio, in collaboration with Gen-Z Media. The 30-minute episodes will Monday nights on BYUradio’s daily storytelling show "The Apple Seed" starting Nov. 11 and then be available on all major podcast services for download the day following each airing. A special marathon of the first eight episodes of "Treasure Island 2020" will air on BYUradio on New Year's Eve leading up to the final two episodes, which will air back-to-back on Jan. 6, 2020.
How’s Work? is a new podcast with couples therapist and TED Talk regular Esther Perel. The Gimlet Media-produced show will feature the psychotherapist sharing her perspectives on the invisible forces that shape workplace connections, conflict and dynamics by using one-time therapy sessions with coworkers, cofounders and colleagues. “This show is not about the workplace. It’s a show about the people who work in that place,” she says in the preview from the new podcast. How’s Work? will debut Nov. 4 on Spotify and then become available on other podcast platforms on Feb 4, 2020.
Radio Rental is a new horror anthology podcast from Tenderfoot TV and Cadence13. Actor Rainn Wilson joins true crime podcast creator and host, Payne Lindsey. Radio Rental explores real-life stories of horror and the unexplained set against the backdrop of a fictional video store. Wilson voices the character of Terry Carnation, a video store clerk who holds a secret VHS collection that houses these dreadful true tales. Over the course of each episode, Wilson leads listeners into the dark, fictional world, as Lindsey speaks with people who’ve lived to tell their eerie tales. It’s the first semi-scripted series from Tenderfoot TV.
Secrets True Crime launches its second season with a look at the murder of a 32-year old Alabama man and his beloved dog, whose burned remains were found inside his truck in 2015.
Their murders remain unsolved even though the crime is rumored to have been witnessed by a large crowd of people. The season is hosted by Amber Sitton and private investigator Michael Fleming. They told the Mountain Eagle newspaper the show is being produced in real-time in order to allow for them to respond to information they receive as episodes are released.
Political Scandals is a new podcast from Parcast that will share the 52 biggest political scandals in history. The show debuts Nov. 5 and will release a new episode each week leading up to the 2020 election.
Influence is a new podcast about the state of advertising. The documentary podcast is hosted by Damian Bradfield, co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of WeTransfer, the internet-based computer file transfer service. It says it will take a deep dive into the good, bad, and ugly of the advertising industry. That includes what the current environment in which consumers experience advertising says about our culture, our economy, and our world. Influence aims to poke holes in big topics like data collection and targeting and will feature guests including Wired Editor Nicholas Thompson, Activision Blizzard COO Pelle Sjoenell, Campbell Ewald CSO Kari Shimmel and The Atlantic’s Alexis Madrigal. It debuts Nov. 4.
The Double Shift, the podcast that is geared toward working mothers, will release its second season Nov. 11. Created and hosted by Katherine Goldstein, this six-episode season explores unconventional family units under the theme “The Revolution Begins at Home.” The show will talk to mothers who are challenging the constant stream of “advice” telling mothers they are doing things wrong and who are rethinking the unequal relationships at home. The first season of The Double Shift spawned the sold-out “F*ck Mom Guilt World Tour.” The Double Shift is part of the Critical Frequency Podcast Network, a women-owned company that seeks to elevate underrepresented voices in podcasting.
Steroids, Sports and Aliens is a new podcast from former Major League Baseball player Jose Canseco and comedian Martin Montana. Canseco tells the Las Vegas Review Journal they plan to record the podcast at the carwash he’s just opened. “We tried to get ‘hookers’ in there, too,” Canseco said of the show title. “But I think ‘Steroids, Sports and Aliens’ is catchy enough.”