Paul Bae is one of the more prominent creators of fiction podcasts. Since 2015, he co-created The Black Tapes (with Terry Miles), created the anthology series The Big Loop, directed a podcast project from Marvel, and has two shows in development for Spotify. Paul is also part of a growing cadre of podcast creators that’s finding work in Hollywood, with a few television opportunities bubbling up on the horizon. A lot is happening for him, and he’s come a long way to get to this point. This week, Nick talks to Paul — a former actor, stand-up comedian, and preacher — about how he made his way into podcasting… and back into the entertainment business.
Richard’s Famous Food Podcast is pretty hard to describe. It’s technically a podcast that deals in food documentaries, but it’s also a cartoonish acid trip that rarely follows a straight line. Genuinely one of the most bizarre things you’ll ever hear, the show is also distinct for the fact that it’s all the creation of one person: Richard Parks III, a food writer, documentarian, filmmaker, and audio producer. This week, Nick asks Parks to walk through a single episode of the show – “Cornichon’s Quest” – as a way to figure out how the podcast works.
College football and Major League Baseball are hanging by a thread. A Floridian bubble is home to multiple sports leagues, all playing out experimental seasons. Stadiums and arenas are largely empty, filled in with artificial crowd noises and, in some cases, papered over with digital fans. Persisting within a pandemic, the sports world has never been stranger. So what is it like to make a daily sports podcast? This week, Nick spoke with Pablo Torre and Eve Troeh, the host and senior editorial producer of ESPN Daily, about the delicate balance involved in sports coverage during a most irregular time.
Here’s something a little different. There’s this somewhat parodic but also very real assertion that pornography tends to be at the forefront of new technologies: high-speed internet video, virtual reality, that kind of thing. Podcasting isn’t a new technology at all, of course, but we were interested in the question: how does pornography — and erotica, which is different but related — intersect with the current boom in on-demand audio? This week, Nick spoke with three guests who come at this question from different angles: Caroline Spiegel, the CEO of Quinn, an audio erotica startup; Alex Klein, a representative from Pornhub, and Girl on the Net, an independent creator.
The job of a podcast editor can be hard to efficiently explain, because they do many little things in the service of one big thing: to make the show better for more people. They think about structure, emphasize tension, tighten language, and consider how the presentation of the story comes across to different types of people. Podcast editors — particularly for narrative nonfiction shows — used to be really hard to find, but this has changed a little bit over the past few years as the podcast industry grew in complexity. Nick talks with Catherine Saint Louis, who works at Neon Hum Media, about the role of the podcast editor, how she became one, and its increasing importance to the business.
The 2016 presidential election cycle left a deep mark on the podcast world. Few know this better than Jody Avirgan, who produced the popular FiveThirtyEight podcast through that cycle. Though he’s sitting the 2020 cycle out, opting instead to make This Day In Esoteric Political History with the Radiotopia network, Avirgan still has a lot to say about the way podcasts cover the elections. In this episode, Nick and Jody look back on the 2016 politics podcast explosion.