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Inside Podcasting (Apr 17th, 2017)

#AlternativeFacts is a new podcast from Billboard that covers the alternative music beat. The show, hosted by staff writer Chris Payne, will focus on "alternative rock, indie, punk, emo, metal, (and) weird electronic music." The first episode will drop on April 20th, but Billboard has posted a "teaser" episode. Billboard identifies the potential audience for the show as people who have debated "the font sizes of artists on music festival lineups" or who have drawn up "a fake Coachella lineup filled with emo bands." – BILLBOARD

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The third season of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's "Breakdown" series focuses on the story of an Atlanta doctor accused of decades of abuse but long-protected by the medical community. Dr. Narendra K. Gupta, who was eventually arrested in Georgia, had already been accused of sexual abuse before he started his Atlanta practice in the early 2000s. The five-episode season, hosted by reporter Johnny Edwards, tells the disturbing story of Gupta from the early accusations to his 2011 trial. – AJC

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On Nate Butkus' "The Show About Science," the six-year-old has spoken with researchers from MIT and Harvard about topics ranging from genome-editing to the evolutionary process. Butkus' dad Eric helps his son produce the series. They've produced 28 episodes so far, and each has been downloaded about 4,000 times. Writer Andrew Joseph notes that young Nate's curiosity and excitement are infectious, even if the boy is still replacing his Ls and Rs with Ws. (Example: “Adam is a mawine biowogist, and I like Adam.") One MIT scientist says Nate is "a sort of pure and undiluted incarnation of the awe and wonder that only the luckiest scientists manage to preserve into their professional careers." – STATNEWS

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The next major "Serial"-sized hit podcast may come courtesy of a mainstream brand like Spotify or Tinder, according to Fast Company. Writer Jeff Beer points to GE's successful "The Message" and "Life-After" podcasts. GE media innovation head Alexa Christon says, "People are making a very conscious choice—to download a podcast, subscribe, and listen. That (type of) relationship is something brands covet.” The article profiles branded podcasts from State Farm, eBay, Spotify, and Tinder. – FAST COMPANY

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The "Drunken Money" podcast pairs two of its Louisville hosts' favorite things: beer and finance. Paul Heintzman and John Ackerman, both 25, felt compelled to create the podcast in response to the common notion that "Millennials don’t understand finances." “We’re the most diverse, tech-savvy generation, but what we’re missing is finances,” says Heintzman. The pair's guests give advice on finances to those just starting out on their lives and careers. The hosts chip in with reviews of beers, bourbons and wines. The odd mix of topics loans a casual bent to discussions of finance that might otherwise come off as (no pun intended) too dry. – INSIDER LOUISVILLE

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The true crime genre and podcasting were made for each other, according to a piece in Rolling Stone. Looking at shows like "Serial" and "S-Town," as well as antecedents like "Criminal" and "Generation Why," writer Michael Stahl argues that the podcast format offers listeners a "unique intimacy" that is particularly conducive to whodunits. "In The Dark" host Madeleine Braun thinks that this intimacy fosters the illusion that hosts are "talking to you, perhaps differently from video." Amber Hunt of "Accused" says, "It's a really transparent medium and people can tell if you're not being honest about the process." – RS

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PODCAST SPOTLIGHT

Most of you will recognize Stephen Tobolowsky from character parts in "Groundhog Day" and "Memento." But his Tobolowsky Files podcast reminds me more of his work as a writer, namely as co-screenwriter of David Byrne's oddball 1986 Texas travelogue curio "True Stories." The podcast, which Tobolowksy has been hosting for /Film since 2009, features just the kind of intimate, gently comic ribbing of human foibles that the underrated Byrne movie was built upon. In fact, the show sprung from the 2005 indie "Stephen Tobolowsky's Birthday Party," which also traded on Tobolowsky's storytelling. Producer and co-host David Chen loved that picture and thought the writer/actor's stories might form the basis for an addictive podcast. 75 episodes later, the show is a kind of classic.

When Chen approached Tobolowsky with the idea, the latter accepted even though he had no real sense of how the show would unfold: “I had several story ideas formulating in my head, and at that particular time, I wasn’t working. I had to ask myself, ‘Stephen, what are you waiting for? David is offering you an opportunity.’ And I had to be willing to walk through the door," Tobolowsky told writer and fan Alan Sepinwall.

The first episode was about Halloween. The second was about Davy Crockett. “What I wanted the stories to work as was the way memory works, which is that it’s not necessarily chronological. I think we all have this Google in our brain, and my Google pops up and five things come up. I didn’t want to tell the story of my life in any chronological way, but rather in how the importance of that intruded itself in that particular moment," Tobolowsky says. 

THE BASICS
Title: "The Tobolowsky Files"
Episodes Available: 75
Episode Length: 30-60 mins
Where to Download: /Film
Host: Stephen Tobolowski and David Chen

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