Spoke Media, a Dallas-based audio production company, announced the launch of an innovative new political thriller and serialized audio drama called Terms. It is being released on Wondery. Terms will be Wondery’s third “Wondery Original” to be released.
Terms begins on election night. President Oliver Pierce (voiced by veteran Dallas stage actor and director Jeffery Schmidt), watches in disbelief from the White House as an incredibly controversial figure, Charles Dunwalke (voiced by Brandon Potter, fresh off his lauded performance as LBJ at the Dallas Theater Center), wins an Electoral College victory to the shock and dismay of a majority of Americans.
Fearing the worst is about to come, Pierce must now make the most difficult decision of his career, a decision that sets in motion a series of events that will have historic and possibly catastrophic consequences. The future of the country hangs in the balance between Election Night and Inauguration Day as America teeters on the edge of salvation and destruction.
One would be hard pressed to find a more relevant topic for a political drama, considering the things going on in the real world, right now, in regards to the 2016 presidential election. Surprisingly, the idea for Terms was based on an idea that Lindsay Graham (executive producer of Terms) had a decade earlier.
Terms has three co-producers: Keith Reynolds (three-time AudioFile Audie Award winner), Robert McCollum (veteran voice actor), and Michael Federico (Legendary Digital Studios).
The first episode of Terms was released in the feed of Wondery’s Secrets, Crimes & Audiotape podcast. There will be a total of 13 episodes, two of which have already been released on the Terms website.
Wondery, a network of storytellers, has announced the launch of “Wait Wait Don’t Kill Me”. It is the first-ever musical produced as a serialized podcast. The musical is the newest story that is being presented in the Secrets, Crimes & Audiotape podcast.
Secrets, Crimes & Audiotape features dramas and comedies about love, mystery and conspiracy. Each story plays out over multiple half-hour long episodes that are available as free podcasts on iTunes, Stitcher, Wondery.com, and other platforms.
“Wait Wait Don’t Kill Me” was written by Dave Holstein (from the TV show Weeds) with music and lyrics by Alan Schmuckler (from the upcoming Diary of a Wimpy Kid musical). “Wait Wait Don’t Kill Me” is a darkly comedic five-part musical satire that follows Serial host Sarah Koenig as she investigates the 1999 murder of high school student Hae Min Lee. The story explores the controversial thesis: What if Sarah Koening did it?
Sarah Koening is played by Leslie Kritzer (Broadway’s Something Rotten). In 1998, Sarah is working as a struggling beat reporter for the Baltimore Sun. She desperately needs a scoop or she will be out of a job. A few miles away, Hae Min Lee (played by Renée Albulario from Here Lies Love) celebrates her prom night with her prom prince boyfriend Adnan Syed (played by Zachary Infante from Julie Taymor’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream).
When Sarah’s and Hae’s paths cross, voices in Sarah’s head suggest that Hae’s salacious murder could solve all of her problems. Fifteen years later, Ira Glass (played by Jessie Cannizzario) suggests that Sarah turn the story of Hae’s murder into a podcast. Drama intensifies when as Ira starts to suspect that Sarah was involved in Hae’s death.
In short, “Wait Wait Don’t Kill Me” takes the Serial podcast, and Sarah Koening, and puts them into an alternative universe that involves music and singing. The first episode of “Wait Wait Don’t Kill Me” is available now, and more episodes will follow.
Wondery the podcast network founded by Hernan Lopez, former CEO and President of Fox International Channels, has added two key executives to their team. Wondery is a fast growing podcast network that specializes in mobile and on-demand audio storytelling, connecting wonderers and brands to a world of entertainment and a world of knowledge.
Laurie Pracher joins Wondery as SVP, Brand Partnerships. Prior to joining Wondery, Pracher was Senior Director of Sponsorships at New York’s public radio station WNYC, where she oversaw a team of managers across radio, digital and podcast platforms.
Karo Chakhlasyan joins Wondery as Director of Audience Acquisition. Prior to joining Wondery, Chakhlasyan was with Oxford Road (one of the leading buyers of podcasts). Oxford Road offers customer acquisition through data-drive media placement on channels like TV, radio, and podcast.
The addition of Laurie Pracher and Karo Chakhlasyan follows the hiring of Jeffery Glaser and Christina Haro in March. Jeffery Glaser is President of Content at Wondery. Christina Haro is Account Executive, Brand Solutions, at Wondery.
ART19 has launched a podcast platform with enhanced advertising and measurement capabilities. Midroll Media, DGital Media and Wondery are leveraging the platform’s advanced capabilities for dynamic ad insertion, audience targeting and listener measurement.
ART19 was founded by software entrepreneur Sean Carr and podcast producer Matt Belknap. ART19 is emerging from beta following eight months of extensive testing with more than 350 shows.
Midroll Media has begun using ART19 and Midroll will make ART19 its third-party hosting preferred provider. DGital Media is an audio engagement company whose partners include UFC, Recode Media, The Vertical Podcast Network, and more, has partnered with ART19 to host most of its content. Wondery specializes in mobile and on-demand audio story telling and has partnered with ART 19 for all of its scripted and unscripted shows.
New data from Wondery and comScore shows that people prefer ads in podcasts over any other digital medium. ART19’s targeting and measurement capabilities are helping brands leverage this engagement.
ART19’s benefits include:
* Dynamic Insertion of Host-Read Spots: ART19’s proprietary WarpFeed technology enables publishers to update back catalogs with fresh advertising; back catalogs comprise more than 50 percent of listening on some podcasts.
* Ad Targeting: ART19 enables delivery of different ads to different listeners of a podcast episode, even in iTunes
* APIs for Improved Audience Measurement: ART19 players and APIs offer vastly improved listening data relative to what is available in RSS, the distribution format that still dominates the space.
Wondery has announced the launch of its first scripted podcast series. It is called Secrets, Crimes & Audiotape. Wondery intends to introduce audio drama to a new generation of listeners.
Secrets, Crimes & Audiotape will feature dramas and comedies about love, mystery, and conspiracy. Each story will play over multiple half-hour weekly episodes that will be available as free podcasts on iTunes, Stitcher, Wondery.com and other platforms.
The story that will premiere is titled “A Beautiful Spell”. It features Jenna Elfman (from “Dharma & Greg) and Bodhi Elfman (from “Criminal Minds”). This story will span a total of three episodes. It was adapted from Greg Kallere’s stage play (which was also called “A Beautiful Spell”).
It tells the story of a husband and wife who wake up in the middle of the night afraid that they may have fallen out of love with each other. This leads the couple to talk about their insecurities, jealousies, and fantasies until dawn.
A future episode of Secrets, Crimes, and Audiotape will include a story called “Air Force One”. It is about the sixty minutes that followed the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The story focuses on the doubts Jacqueline Kennedy had about whether people close to her could have had a hand in the crime.
Another story featured on the podcast is called “Upper West Blues: A Black Cat Murder Mystery”. It is told from the viewpoint of a black cat who was a key witness to a murder mystery. This audio drama was adapted from the story written by award-winning writer Marcy Kahan.
The first episode of Secrets, Crimes & Audiotape will be released on September 20, 2016. New episodes will be available every Tuesday.
Wondery was founded earlier this year by Hernan Lopez, the former CEO of Fox International Channels. In March, Wondery added some staff. Recently, Wondery has added three more podcasts to its network.
In March of 2016, Jeffery Glaser joined Wondery as president of content. (Previously, he was the head of current programing at 20th Century Fox Television.) Christina Haro was appointed as account executive, brand solutions, at Wondery that same month. The original plan was for Wondery to begin releasing its first batch of shows by summer of 2016.
The newly added shows are:
Ruby: The Adventures of a Galactic Gumshoe was created by audio drama pioneer Thomas Lopez of ZBS. Ruby is a “smart, tough, sexy detective” that has been hired to track down the malefactors who are manipulating the media on planet Summa Nulla.
Radio Drama Revival is hosted by David Rheinstrom and produced twice a month. Radio Drama Revival showcases a piece of top-quality audio fiction made by independent and professional producers alike. It covers a variety of genres “from historical epics, to science fiction, from spine-tingling horror and suspense, to wacky situation comedies, from intimate dramas to experimental sound art.”
The Cleansed is described as: “Equal parts “Mad Max” and “The Stand”, this post apocalyptic saga is set in a world 15 years after the collapse of the world as we know it.” It is an epic serialized audio drama adventure with 30+ actors, cinematic sound design, and original music.
Those three shows join with the three that had previously been added to the Wondery network. Real Crime Profile focuses on profiling the behavior of people from real criminal cases. Mad About Movies is described as “your go-to podcast for all things cinema”. Thirty Twenty Ten is a pop culture time machine that examines TV, movies, music, and video games from the 80s, 90s, and 2000s
Wondery is a podcast company that was founded by Hernon Lopez, the former CEO of Fox International Channels. In January, he left his job running 350 international TV channels for Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, Inc. in order to build his Wondery podcast network. It is anticipated that Wondery will release it’s first batch of shows in the summer of 2016. Some newly hired staff have been recently added to Wondery.
Jeffery Glaser, who was previously the head of current programming at 20th Century Fox Television, is joining Wondery as president of content. Jeffery Glaser will own an equity stake in Wondery alongside founder Hernan Lopez. Under Glaser’s direction, Wondery will expand development of both scripted and unscripted programming for its lineup of podcasts.
Christina Haro has been appointed as account executive, brand solutions, at Wondery. She will start on April 4, 2016. Previously, Christina Haro worked in a cross-platform role encompassing TV, radio and digital, and as an account executive and marketing strategist at Univision Communications.
Hernan Lopez was the former CEO of Fox International Channels. He recently left his job running 350 international TV channels for Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, Inc. in order to build a brand new podcast network. According to Bloomberg Business, Wondery plans to release its first batch of shows by summer of 2016.
Hernan Lopez posted a tweet about this news on his verified Twitter account on January 13, 2016.
Wondery is a brand new media company specialized in mobile and on-demand audio storytelling. Wondery will create and curate podcasts to connect wonderers and brands to a world of entertainment and a world of knowledge. Hernan Lopez is the Founder and CEO of Wondery. Oswald Mendez is the Senior Advisor and Chief Marketing Officer of Wondery. He previously has worked at McCann-Erickson Worldwide and media companies such as FOX International Channels.
Wondery has teamed up with ART19 to help with distribution infrastructure and dynamic ad insertion across multiple podcasts. On the ART19 website is an explanation of its WarpFeed technology. It provides near real-time RSS ad insertion, unlocking regional and international advertising as well as monetization of back catalogs.