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How WBEZ Helped Spawn Seven Hit Podcasts

If you’re listening to a popular podcast, chances are its granddaddy is WBEZ. Here’s how the public radio station gave rise to some favorites.

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WBEZ

Roman Mars

Ira Glass

Alex Blumberg

Peter Sagal

host

creator

and host

cocreator

and host

former producer

creator and former host

creator and host

99% Invisible

This American Life

Planet Money

StartUp

Wait, Wait …

Don’t Tell Me

This weekly dive into the unsung details of architecture and design is part of Radiotopia, a 13-podcast collective the former WBEZ producer launched in 2014.

Each week, more than one million people download the podcast version of the radio show that launched the careers of Sarah Vowell and David Sedaris.

Ever wonder about the economics of ISIS? This show makes offbeat financial topics accessible by banishing fancy jargon.

It’s a metapodcast about starting startups (including its parent network). Say that 10 times fast.

Jeff Daniels, Jacques Pépin, and Cindy Crawford have all taken the hot seat recently for Sagal’s legendary weekly news quiz.

Both part of Blumberg’s podcast network, Gimlet Media

produced by

Serial

Mystery Show

Sarah

Koenig

Julie

Snyder

Starlee

Kine

This spring, the smash that made podcasts a thing again wraps up its second season, covering the still-unfolding story of U.S. soldier and alleged deserter Bowe Bergdahl.

How did noted bibliophile (ahem) Britney Spears come to be photographed with a book that sold virtually no copies? Kine solves one puzzle such as that in each episode.

cocreator and host

cocreator and producer

creator and host

This American Life

Each week, more than one million people download the podcast version of the radio show that launched the careers of Sarah Vowell and David Sedaris.

Ira Glass

Ira Glass

Cocreator, executive producer, and host
Alex Blumberg

Alex Blumberg

Former producer
Sarah Koenig

Sarah Koenig

Producer
Starlee Kine

Starlee Kine

Producer
Julie Snyder

Julie Snyder

Producer

99% Invisible

This weekly dive into the unsung details of architecture and design is part of Radiotopia, a 13-podcast collective the former WBEZ producer launched in 2014.

Roman Mars

Roman Mars

Creator and host, former WBEZ producer

Planet Money

Spinoff of This American Life. Ever wonder about the economics of ISIS? This show makes offbeat financial topics accessible by banishing fancy jargon.

Alex Blumberg

Alex Blumberg

Creator and former host

StartUp

Part of Blumberg’s podcast network, Gimlet Media. It’s a metapodcast about starting startups (including its parent network). Say that 10 times fast.

Alex Blumberg

Alex Blumberg

Creator and host

Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!

Jeff Daniels, Jacques Pépin, and Cindy Crawford have all taken the hot seat recently for Sagal’s legendary weekly news quiz.

Peter Sagal

Peter Sagal

Host

Serial

This month, the smash that made podcasts a thing again wraps up its second season, covering the still-unfolding story of U.S. soldier and alleged deserter Bowe Bergdahl.

Sarah Koenig

Sarah Koenig

Cocreator and host
Julie Snyder

Julie Snyder

Cocreator and producer

Mystery Show

How did noted bibliophile (ahem) Britney Spears come to be photographed with a book that sold virtually no copies? Kine solves one puzzle such as that in each episode. Like StartUp, part of Blumberg’s podcast network, Gimlet Media.

Starlee Kine

Starlee Kine

Creator and host
photography: (Mars) Bert Johnson; (Glass) Evan Agostini/Invision/AP; (Blumberg) courtesy of gimlet media; (Sagal) Antony Nagelmann/NPR; (Koenig) Charles Sykes/Invision/AP; (Snyder) Meredith Heuer; (Kine) Aaron Maté; (skydiving) courtesy of ifly

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