Huh? Science Explained, The Chaser, The Podcast Show

Compiled by James Manning, Trent Thomas, and Tess Connery

Bringing science to listeners in snippets on Huh? Science Explained 

In April of this year, LiSTNR and the Royal Institution of Australia (RiAus) released their first co-created shortcast, Huh? Science Explained, following a new podcast collaboration agreement. 

Huh? Science Explained brings together a new generation of science voices, with journalists from RiAus’s Cosmos magazine answering life’s weird and wacky science-related questions. 

Following this new content arrangement, and the release of the first collaboration between the two organisations, Podcast Week’s Trent Thomas caught up with RiAus executive director, Will Berryman, about why this made sense for RiAus.

“This is one of many products, we’re going to launch with SCA this year,” said Berryman. “The demand for facts and science is really quite profound. As a not-for-profit publisher, our audiences have doubled in the last year. There’s plenty of demand for new and exciting podcast programmes.”

Huh? Science Explained is a short-form podcast, known as a shortcast, which Berryman said worked well due to it being the inaugural piece of content put on the platform.

“SCA hadn’t done original science like they’re doing here with us, and we hadn’t worked with another partner before. We wanted to get a product to market with industrial processes behind it that we could sustain and keep doing. The subject matter that we’ve worked with, on these little snippets lent itself very well to the short form execution. Not to say that the next ones that we work with SCA on in the next six months won’t be longer form. We will pick the formats that make for the best product. There will be some longer form content that we develop later.”

RiAus started doing podcasting midway through last year and Berryman said that they were very surprised at the uptake of those products, which then led to the deal with SCA.

“Ordinary Australians are interested in science, they care a lot about climate, energy, and health and they’re bombarded with nonsense. So we were really pleased that with our meagre resources that these things were picking up. I’ve known the guys at Southern Cross Austereo for quite a long time, and I was quite well aware of what Grant Blackley and the team were doing and I loved the idea of a highly curated platform. They are more than an aggregator, they’re actively involved in production. It was my view that the two of us together could make really strong, compelling material and Grant agreed.”

Huh? Science Explained is just the first of what is expected to be numerous collaborations between RiAus and SCA, with Berryman signalling that future content will be targeted at different sections of the community.

“The next product that we’ll be looking at is the intersection of science in people’s lives. The last three or four years have shown that Australians need a solid view of issues, not to be informed by nonsense but by fact. That’ll give us the opportunity to dig deeper into current issues and current debates, and look at them through the lens of what science is telling us.

“We also hope to produce materials for young people. The country needs more STEM careers, it needs to inform kids at high school that science is a legitimate and valid place to study. Young people are fascinated by these things. Young people are also bombarded with a lot of nonsense. So, we’ll be looking at products that appeal to those audiences as well. We really need to make sure that there is something for all Australians to enjoy.”

When asked about what a commercial agreement like the one with SCA means for RiAus, Berryman said that these types of partnerships are vital to the ongoing future of his organisation.

“We are a not for profit organisation and are very lucky to have the absolutely wonderful support of the Government of South Australia in our ongoing operation. We’re a South Australian based business, South Australia is the home of science communications in Australia. We’re always looking for other sources of sustenance and revenue like any organisation. We’re not a public broadcaster, we are an independent nonprofit. Our ability to partner with Southern Cross Australia will allow us to work on sustaining our organisation for the future.

“We are Australia’s flagship, science publisher in the media community but we need partners who we can work with, who can help us commercially build that long term sustainable future that we need. SCA and ourselves are understanding that a lot of businesses commercially are partnering with science and want to support facts. By being able to partner with independent, high quality, popular science work with SCA, we open up socially good commercial opportunities that let us have a long term future.”

[Listen to Huh? Science Explained here]

The Chaser Reunites to celebrate NoMo, Is Antony Green like Mr Brean?

It was always going to take a major event to reunite The Chaser team, but that’s what happened this week with the departure of Scott Morrison as Prime Minister, reports James Manning.

As The Chaser Report: Election Edition podcast host Dom Knight pointed out, what better way to mark female voters and female candidates storming into Canberra than gathering six men around The Chaser microphones. Joining Dom were original members of the comedy outfit Charles Firth, Chaz Licciardello, Andrew Hansen, Chris Taylor and Craig Reucassel (no Julian Morrow).

Although the Acast series is not part of Podcast Ranker, it has been hovering around the top 10 in Apple’s charts for Australian comedy podcasts.

Firth kept some of the Chaser’s followers entertained on Saturday night during the vote count via social media. As Knight explained: “Charles was like Antony Green, except Charles was drunk and had no data.

The Chaser’s Charles Firth, Craig Reucassel, Dom Knight and Chris Taylor this week

After initially thinking early that Labor was in trouble early (as many of us did), Firth soon cheered up telling his followers, “This is the greatest night in Australian history.” His summary was buoyed by the expectation that Peter Dutton might be defeated. “He still could be losing by getting the Liberal leadership,” offered the Monday Chaser podcast which was their first election wrap.

The Tuesday episode offered a review on the election coverage on TV. Chaz offered that it seems like both Nine and Seven have almost given up. Citing Nine’s April Sun in Cuba robot graphic and Seven’s “screen of dreams” as proof. Taylor said he could remember back to when Nine’s election coverage was credible in the era of Laurie Oaks.

Richo on Sky News is still the best numbers man, agreed the team, noting at one point Richo woke up and said, “Labor has won this,” before nodding off again.

“On 10 it was three quarters of The Project team who cleary did not want to be there,” said The Chaser.

The ABC didn’t escape the blow torch either, with Taylor noting, “There coverage wasn’t very good this year. They seemed very slow.”

Reucassel explained: “Antony Green is always very cautious.” Taylor noted how flustered Green was at different points during the broadcast. “He was like Mr Bean doing the election coverage. He spent more time apologising for his tech or trying to explain his process than actually giving you numbers.”

Some of Taylor’s colleagues quickly distanced themselves from his remarks!

[Listen to The Chaser podcast here]

The Podcast Show launches in London

At the time of writing, the 2022 Podcast Show in London has just kicked off with staggering 150 sessions crammed into two days. The Podcast Show is open to industry professionals, business leaders, emerging talent and fans. Those 150 sessions will feature over 350 speakers and 120 industry brands, plus careers advice sessions and some serious networking opportunities. Delegates will hear from and get face-to-face time with the likes of sponsors Spotify and Amazon Music, plus partners Acast, BBC Sounds, Global and YouTube.

Running alongside the conference are a series of live recordings of podcast episodes. Many of the shows sold out quickly including the new Kermode & Mayo’s Take. The film critic (Mark Kermode) and the DJ (Simon Mayo) recently both left the BBC where they had been podcasting for 20 years in addition to their day jobs. They have now partnered with Sony Music Podcasts who have turned the formerly free film review series (which was also broadcast live on BBC Radio 5) into a freemium model.

Kermode (left) and Mayo (right) with actor Rory Kinnear in London this week

Subscribers can get part one of the podcast free each week, but to get the second half they need to subscribe. The move to go “commercial” has split their fan following, although the numbers remain so big that there was a line around the block in London on Tuesday night with fans wanting a good seat once they got inside the 900-seat podcast venue.

Mediaweek will report on some of The Podcast Show sessions in future columns.

Podcast platforms buy up Marc Maron and Conan O’Brien

Acast has secured a three-year partnership with US podcast creator Marc Maron and his podcast WTF with Marc Maron. The podcast will now be hosted, monetised and distributed via Acast, and will also be making use of the platform’s paid memberships offering, Acast+. Maron’s podcast has approximately 55 million listens per year, primarily in North America.

WTF was previously with Stitcher.

The podcast will continue to be release two episodes a week and the new deal will come into effect from July 1, 2022.

WTF with Marc Maron will be utilising Acast+, giving the podcast additional monetisation options including Maron’s back catalog and brand new bonus content for Maron’s paying members.

Marc Maron with possibly his biggest-ever guest President Obama

“We’ve amassed an amazing catalogue over the years and Acast offers us an opportunity to make it available in a way it hasn’t been before, especially in international markets. We’ve released two episodes every week for almost 13 years and we don’t plan on stopping any time soon. Acast won’t stand in the way of us doing the show the way we want to do it, the way we like doing it, the way we’ve always done it. They’re excited and focused and I think the partnership will be very productive,” said Maron.

The Marc Maron deal comes in the same week that SiriusXM outlaid a reported US$150m for the Conan O’Brien podcast network Team Coco.

As part of the deal, Conan has entered into a five-year talent agreement with SiriusXM, under which he will remain host of his namesake podcast, which will continue to be available widely, and will also collaborate with SiriusXM to create and executive produce a new fulltime, original Team Coco comedy channel for SiriusXM subscribers. The agreement also includes distribution of select video from Conan’s podcast as well as from the archives of his long-running late-night show on TBS, live events, and merchandise from the Team Coco brands

[Listen to WTF with Marc Maron here]

Nils Lenard Gets His Black T-Shirt On

This week’s episode of the Black T-Shirts Podcast features Nils Lenard. Declared ‘the most creative person in advertising globally’ by Business Insider, Nils co-founded the hottest shop in advertising ‘Uncommon Creative Studio’ in London 5 years ago.

black t-shirts

Nils joins Brent Smart and Adam Ferrier and wears a Black T-Shirt as he discusses the relationship between personality and creativity. Nils is an incredibly forceful character, and his approach and demand for creative excellence is unrelenting. If there was ever a podcast on creativity that had to come with a warning, this is it.

Adam Ferrier said of the interview “If there was one episode, we’ve done that I really want everyone to listen to, this is it. Nils is determined to both lift the bar of creativity, and simultaneously help others get over it. He’s also happy to give a big ‘fuck you’ to those creatively comfy in undeserving positions of power”.

[Listen to Black T-Shirts here]

iHeartPodcast and KIIS launch new podcast Hooked, Hitched & Hung Up

iHeartPodcast and KIIS Network Original have launched the new podcast Hooked, Hitched & Hung Up hosted by Brittany Hockley and Laura Byrne.

The new Original Podcast from ARN’s iHeartPodcast Network Australia, Deadset Studios and the KIIS Network re-lives the breakups and makeups, the fall-out moments and the happy-ever-afters of the most fascinating love stories of all time.


Brittany Hockley and Laura Byrne life uncut

The hosts – from the award-winning podcast Life Uncut and KIIS Network’s Life Uncut Radio Show – unpack the headline-making celebrity relationships that have enthralled the world.

From the affair that brought down a president to the fairy-tale love story of actor Lisa Bonet and Aquaman Jason Momoa, and the collapse of world champion golfer Tiger Woods’ picture-perfect marriage – Hockley and Byrne bring their trademark humour and relationship nous to every episode.

Other celebrity relationships to go under the microscope include Queen singer Freddie Mercury and Jim Hutton; Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez; tech entrepreneur Elon Musk and musician Grimes; J Lo and Ben Affleck and actors Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher.

[Listen to Hooked, Hitched & Hung Up here]

Judith Neilson Institute’s podcast, Journo, returns for season two

Journo, the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas’ (JNI) podcast that explores how news is made, used, abused, and how it can be made more reliable and trustworthy for its audience, returns for a second season.

The first episode, focusing on how the media has reported on the war in Ukraine, is now available on all podcast apps.

The episode, which explores topics like the influence of TikTok and social media on war reporting, what journalists covering wars and conflicts need to know about pushing the boundaries of journalism and more includes interviews with:

• Lyse Doucet, the BBC’s chief international correspondent and senior presenter whose interview about her time in Kyiv went viral.
• Chris Reason from Seven News, whose drone footage of a bombed apartment block and an interview with Kyiv’s mayor made headlines around the world.
• Sarah Cahlan from the Washington Post on how news verification has evolved.
• Liubomyra Remazhevsk, a local Ukrainian journalist on her experience reporting on a war in her home country.

Topics for future episodes, released fortnightly, will include: how democratic elections in Australia and around the world are reported on by the media; climate change; the role of sports journalists in geopolitics; and, more. Plus, Journo will feature in-depth profiles and interviews with some of the world’s leading journalists about how they practice the craft of journalism.

Hosted by former BBC Australia and US Correspondent Nick Bryant, and produced by Deadset Studios for JNI, season one was recently awarded the Bronze Award in the News Podcast category at the 2022 New York Festivals Radio Awards.

[Listen to Journo here]

Podshape launches new podcast, More than just a Mum, hosted by Courtney Thorpe

Former Miss World Australia winner and Channel 7 presenter Courtney Thorpe has launched a weekly podcast with Podshape in which she tells her own story and talks to other guests about how they’re More than just a Mum.

Courtney is a newly single Mum after recently splitting from Gold Coast Titans and Queensland rugby league player Jarrod Wallace and loving step Mum to his 2 daughters. 

Huh? Science Explained 

More than just a Mum is a real and honest approach to pregnancy, babies, and the struggles of being a new Mum. Courtney will sit down each week with a high profile guest to discuss a variety of topics including body image post baby, IVF, gender disappointment, and post partum in an open, honest, safe space.

Some of the guests include Channel 7’s Liz Cantor & Kendall Gilding, Influencer Kayla Boyd and breakfast radio presenter Emily Jade O’Keeffe.

[Listen to More than just a Mum here]

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