Quick Hits: Variety on podcasts (not just Conan O’Brien)

Brief news items and worthy reads from around the web. The latest edition of Variety gave its cover story over to podcasting. The coverage sparked outcry from the podcasting sector, which criticized its argument that celebrities from other media have been the ones to push podcasting into the mainstream. Aside from painting Conan O’Brien as the darling of the sector, Variety’s recent articles have offered some more pointed insights on podcasting from interviews with other sources:

Barstool Sports is no stranger to courting controversy, most recently with its founders supposed joking about firing employees for unionization efforts. But the company has capitalized on its ability to reach the audience that connects with that attitude via podcasting. CEO Erika Nardini told Variety about the media company’s progress, including podcasts now contributing more than a third of the operation’s revenue.

With so many podcasts presenting a carefully produced and planned face, With Special Guest Lauren Lapkus is something completely different. The comedian hosts completely improvised hour-long episodes with premises brought in by her guests, usually other people from comedy. Variety spoke with her about the niche her show occupies and the challenges of bringing improv to the microphone.

If you haven’t gotten enough of Michael Barbaro, Variety also interviewed him and producer Lisa Tobin about their work on The Daily at The New York Times. Not as much new here since the popular show’s trajectory has been well documented, but Barbaro does explain why he talks so very deliberately.

Anna Washenko