Midroll-owned Stitcher starts new network of ad-supported original podcasts

midroll media and stitcher canvasVenerable podcast listening app today announced an expansion into original programming, and the creation of a network of shows. The network is not formally named, but the inaugural shows are identified.

  • “Katie Couric” features the award-winning journalist and TV personality and co-host Brian Goldsmith in candid, unscripted conversations with some of the biggest names in news, politics and pop culture. Recent interviews include Dan Taberski, creator of hit podcast “Missing Richard Simmons”; entrepreneur Tony Robbins; actor Alec Baldwin; and comedian Samantha Bee. “Katie Couric” joins Stitcher from Earwolf.
  • Top food podcast “The Sporkful,” a long-running series hosted by Dan Pashman, launches as a Stitcher show on April 17. “The Sporkful” isn’t for foodies, it’s for eaters. Each week, Pashman talks with entertainers and regular folks about food and, in the process, learns more about them as people. Past guests have included Rosie Perez, Amy Sedaris, Jim Gaffigan, Alton Brown and Margaret Cho. The podcast was recently nominated for a James Beard Award and a Webby Award.
  • Documentary filmmaker Tally Abecassis launched the second season of “First Day Back,” a serialized, non-fiction show about coming back from something that changes you, on April 11. In the new season, Abecassis unfolds the story of Lucie Paquette and Gerry Madaire, lovebirds who were together for 13 years, until the fall of 2010, when she shot and killed him. Abecassis follows Paquette after her release from prison as she reconnects with family, gets a job and deals with the emotional aftermath of Madaire’s death.
  • “The Longest Shortest Time,” the award-winning parenting show for everyone, is also making the move to Stitcher from Earwolf. Host Hillary Frank takes a broad view of parenting, examining topics ranging from birth stories to parents’ relationships with grown children and adults’ decisions on whether or not to even have children. The podcast, which has been named a “best of” by TIME, The Atlantic and Slate, is back with new shows on April 12, with an episode featuring actor and comedian Rob Huebel talking about his daughter’s 117-day stay in the NICU after being born nearly four months early. This season also has Frank diving into issues including the pressure of dating with the purpose of finding the father of your children; the rising trend of egg freezing; and multi-cultural parenting.
  • Season two of “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know,” a live-journalism game show hosted by Stephen J. Dubner, author of the “Freakonomics” books and creator of “Freakonomics Radio.”

In addition, Stitcher has new shows in  development, including one starring actor LeVar Burton.

These ad-supported shows join a portfolio of 50 original shows previously developed for the subscription-based Stitcher Premium service.

“We want people to think of Stitcher as not only a great listening platform but also a home for a rich offering of original audio programming,” noted Jenny Radelet, executive producer of original content at Stitcher.

Stitcher was acquired by E.W. Scripps last June and placed it as a subsidiary of Midroll Media, which Scripps acquired in July 2015.

Brad Hill