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Inside Podcasting (Jul 14th, 2017)

The "Unconcluded" podcast has generated a half-dozen credible leads during its investigation into the disappearance of 24-year-old Jennifer Kesse. After hearing about the case from his wife, Tampa-area elementary teacher Shaun Gurd created the series with his friend Scott Jamison. The show debuted to 15,000 downloads and now reaches 300,000 per month. “When you see your podcast passing Katie Couric’s, it’s pretty interesting," Gurd said. "People who didn’t know about Jennifer Kesse two months ago do now. That’s been a success in our book."  Gurd says he only listened to three podcasts - all true crime shows - before embarking on his own. – USAT

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For every episode of the hour-long "Our Debut Album" podcast, hosts Dave Shumka and Graham Clark compose a "hit song" which they perform during the closing. The premise is based on the notion that some notable hit songs, including The Beatles' "Yesterday," were indeed composed in under an hour. With the aid of a guest, the two Canadian humorists work up a song in a given genre that they decide upon at the start of each show. For the last episode, the prompt was "song of the summer," which is a tall order for any songwriter given any amount of time, let alone an hour. – OBSERVER 

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Interested in angel investing? Pre-order Inside CEO Jason Calacanis' book, ANGEL, today.  Pick your favorite service to pre-order: AmazonBarnes & NobleAudibleiBooks

Angela Rye's new podcast, "On 1," is aimed at an audience who lives in the space between sophisticated and "ratchet," aka "sophistiratchets." The show centers on "politics, social issues, blackness and current events," and according to Rye builds upon the work she did during the 2016 presidential election and as part of Essence magazine’s inaugural Woke 100 class. Rye is a political commentator and CEO of Impact Strategies. The first episode features guest Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Rye's boss during her first political internship. – HUFFPO

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The new episode of Conde Nast Traveler's "Travelogue" podcast goes deep on home share services, including no small amount of nitpicking. Host Brad Rickman and his "crack team of experts" talk about Airbnb, OneFineStay, Kid & Coe and others during the episode, and wonder out loud whether anyone really likes sleeping in a stranger's sheets, no matter how cozy. The group also discuss who should be using home shares services and who should stick with hotels. – CNTRAVELER

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Host Stephanie Burt has assembled a list of the Nashville-set episodes of her food podcast, "The Southern Fork," for Nashville Scene writer Chris Chamberlain. Burt, an expert food critic and writer, has a knack for getting her guests to open up during her "kitchen talk" interviews, whether they are fellow food writers, farmers, chefs, or restaurateurs. Among the highlighted Nashville-centric episodes are an interview with the owner of local eatery Caviar & Bananas; a talk with the creator of the Firepot brand of organic tea; and an entire episode featuring songbird Emmylou Harris dedicated to vinaigrette. – NASHVILLE SCENE

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PODCAST SPOTLIGHT

While some may shrink away from the horror of murder and death, others find themselves fascinated by these crimes. Luckily, the Serial Killers podcast is here to satisfy listeners’ cravings.  

The name of the show says it all – Serial Killers dives into the background of history’s most notorious serial killers each week, such as Aileen Wuornos, H.H. Holmes and Ted Bundy. It’s only been around since the beginning of 2017, meaning there’s still plenty of ground for hosts Greg Polcyn and Vanessa Richardson to cover – if you haven’t hopped on the bandwagon, now is the perfect time to do it.

The format of the show, produced by Parcast (“Unsolved Murders,” “Remarkable Lives. Tragic Deaths”), is well thought-out and enhanced by both Polcyn and Richardson, who talk through one serial killer’s dark past in each episode. Despite the serious, macabre nature of the topic, the hosts keep it light, and voice actors give the show a playful feel with imaginative “reenactments.”

For a podcast about serial killers, it falls surprisingly short in terms of scare factor. However, each episode (usually less than an hour in length) manages to touch on what hardcore murder fans look for in a retell – the facts behind the crimes and the psychological deep-dive into the killer’s mind.

In terms of addictiveness, it helps that Polcyn and Richardson focus on one killer over the course of two consecutive episodes – this means listeners have to wait a week to hear the full story of a killer, creating a cliffhanger effect that encourages fans to subscribe.

As long as there continues to be a thirst for bloody crime stories, there will be a place for Serial Killers in the podcast world. This can only be good news, as Polcyn and Richardson have a lot more history to unpack.

@kavermes

THE BASICS
Title: "Serial Killers"
Episodes Available: 23
Episode Length: 60 mins
Where to Download: PodBean
Host: Greg Polcyn and Vanessa Richardson

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