Welcome to OZY’s new audio newsletter, where we’ll break down the best listens and news from the world of podcasts. Today on Wherever You Get Your Podcasts ...
The bizarre true story behind John Lennon’s murder
Megyn Kelly on her fraught relationship with Roger Ailes
A forgotten race massacre in Disney World’s backyard
The business where it pays to be “more famous than rich”
The Thread Behind the Murder of John Lennon
“A sad, sad day.” That’s how Paul McCartney described Tuesday’s anniversary of the assassination of his fellow Beatle, who was shot by a disturbed fan in 1980. But the events behind Lennon’s tragic death were set in motion well before then. Listen to season one of OZY’s chart-topping history podcast The Thread, and learn about the jaw-dropping link between Lennon’s untimely murder and Russian communist leader Vladimir Lenin.
Indian pale ale in hand, the controversial British comedian cracked jokes and landed blows on a recent episode of the podcast SmartLess with hosts Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes and Will Arnett. Gervais talked about the origins of his breakthrough comedy The Office, his short-lived music career and the impact cancel culture has had on the comedy world, likening it to “road rage.”
2. Megyn Kelly on ‘The Carlos Watson Show’
Shunned by both the left and the right, the former Fox News and NBC News host has plenty to say about activists on The Carlos Watson Show this week. Kelly spills tea about her decision to speak out against Roger Ailes — a man she loved — why she thinks both the Black Lives Matter and #MeToo movements are ineffective, and how her family keeps her centered. Is a political run in her future?
Each year, the Moguls in the Making business plan pitch competition offers Historically Black College and University (HBCU) students an opportunity to learn and practice vital skills. Five students from Alabama A&M University won the second annual competition, which took place virtually this month, with their proposed solution to the lack of access to quality food and nutrition education in Detroit. The event gives 50 students — grouped into teams of five from 10 HBCUs — an opportunity to develop and present business plans aimed at solving key issues in the context of today’s economic and social climate. The competition is presented by Ally Financial Inc., the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and entertainer and entrepreneur Big Sean’s foundation, the Sean Anderson Foundation. Winners receive scholarships and internship opportunities with Ally.
Where can you find everyone from David Hasselhoff to Michael Bolton to Tiger King’s Carole Baskin? Cameo co-founder Steven Galanis tells the New York Times’ Kara Swisher on her podcast Sway about the celebrity gig economy his company has helped launch. Fifteen minutes of fame can now stretch on for decades thanks to the marketplace for personalized shout-outs that is cutting Hollywood agents, managers and publicists out of the equation … and the action.
George Floyd’s death was the result of a routine encounter between police officers and a member of the public that needlessly spiraled out of control — a tragically familiar tale when it comes to the police and minority communities. The BBC’s Katty Kay and OZY’s Carlos Watson talk to social justice campaigners and police chiefs about what America can do better to tackle the problem of police brutality.
Did you know that a 22-year-old Charlie Sheen beat out Tom Cruise to land the part of hungry upstart Bud Fox? That a chain-smoking Michael Douglas, who won the Oscar for best actor for his performance as the iconic corporate raider Gordon Gekko, barely had enough oxygen to make it through dialogue-heavy scenes? The Ringer’s Bill Simmons sits down with Brian Koppelman, creator of the Showtime hit series Billions, to revisit the risk, majesty and oh-so-casual cocaine use on display in Oliver Stone’s 1987 classic Wall Street.
4. Reset America With Ta-Nehisi Coates
Acclaimed author, journalist and modern philosopher Ta-Nehisi Coates joins The Carlos Watson Show and opens up about how his experience of fatherhood has affected his life and work — and why he still admires President Obama, despite their disagreements. Tune in for an exclusive reading from Between the World and Me, Coates’ award-winning 2015 book and soon-to-be HBO special. You can watch here and the full unedited conversation will be available on the show’s podcast feed here.
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sagas & scandals
1. Baseball’s Texas-Size Scandal on ‘The Edge’
Why do the smartest guys in the room always seem to be in Houston? And why does it always turn out so badly? Sports writer Ben Reiter looked like a modern-day Nostradamus when his 2014 Sports Illustrated cover story wound up accurately predicting the Houston Astros’ 2017 World Series title. Then it turned out that title was rather tainted by the Astros illegally stealing signs. In The Edge, Reiter tries to get to the bottom of what really happened and who’s to blame after the Astros went from heroes to zeroes.
2. The Ocoee Election Day Massacre on ‘Flashback’
The worst incident of election violence in American history happened a century ago on Election Day, 1920, in the town of Ocoee, Florida, just outside Orlando. The victims were hundreds of Black residents. The perpetrators were their white neighbors. And the reason? Black citizens had gone to the polls to try to vote. Special guest narrator Eugene S. Robison joins OZY’s hit history podcast Flashback to tell the story of Ocoee in three parts.
You knew that Demi Moore had one of the sexiest voices in the movies. But you won’t realize just how good it really is until you listen to Dirty Diana, a scripted podcast from Code about an unhappy woman whose side hustle is running an erotic website where women reveal their intimate sexual fantasies. Amazon just announced that Moore will star in and executive-produce a new television series based on the podcast.
1. South Africa’s Serial: ‘Alibi’
Alibi is a heartbreaking Serial-style true crime series from South Africa. In the first season, journalist Paul McNally tracks down a man who may have been wrongfully convicted for 17 years for a crime committed during apartheid. In the recently releasedseason two, McNally returns to explore the surprising story behind the assassination of a high school principal in KwaZulu-Natal province.
2. Audio Adventuring: ‘The First Mile’
Travel adventures may be impossible for most of us at the moment, but listening to a good travel pod might be the next best thing. InThe First Mile, international travel journalists and adventurers Ash Bhardwaj and Pip Stewart take listeners along for the ride with dispatches from their journeys to places like Nepal and New Zealand, chronicling moonshine, rites of passage and more each week.
3. Innovation Insights: ‘Tech Buzz China’
This biweeklytechnology podcast from Pandaily is all about Chinese innovations and innovators. Hosts Rui Ma and Ying Lu unearth fascinating stories about popular startups and sectors from China, giving Western listeners deep dives into how China’s markets operate and how startups develop there, including commentary from entrepreneurs, investors and industry experts.
More than 100 million Americans now listen to podcasts — 105.6 million to be exact.
Podcasts will fuel a $1 billion ad market by 2021.
Weekly listeners tune in to an average of six podcasts a week.
Spotify is now the most common app for podcast listening.
2. If You Can’t Beat ’Em, Join ’Em
Top record labels like Sony are joining the podcast party, the thinking being that if podcasts are taking earspace from music, then it’s up to the labels to fill it. Atlantic Records has also launched its own podcast team, and Universal Music announced a deal with Wondery to produce podcasts. And a lot of today’s podcast deals, as Nicholas Quah writes in NiemenLab, resemble music label deals from an earlier era that are not so “artist friendly.”
3. Escape Hatch
Podcasts enriched our pandemic lives in surprising ways, writes Reggie Ugwu in the New York Times, as listenership soared. For Ugwu, they took on new meaning for someone who was already a heavy podcast consumer. “Once a diversion for idle hours or commutes, now they were a balm and an escape hatch. They offered precious few occasions to feel surprised or inspired, to be reassured by the company of a trusted voice in a darkening world.”