Podcast Magazine is for Sale; Exactly Right Media Axes Another Partnership Without Explanation
Plus: News on the ARIAS + Our Very First Poll!
Exactly Right Media has ended a partnership at the 11th hour;
Stever Olsher is selling/ending Podcast Magazine;
Some encouraging news out of the UK.
But first, some housekeeping:
Next week I’m publishing a deeper dive on Steve Olsher. If you have insights into what makes him tick, by all means, get in touch.
If your podcast queue needs a refresh before the holidays, check out this episode of KQED’s Forum, in which Ronald Young Jr., Wil Williams, and I share our top picks for 2022.
If you’re exploring new social media frontiers, you can find me on Mastodon here and Post.news here. Let’s follow each other.
First up —
If you’ve been reading The Squeeze from the beginning, you know that we’ve been here before. Last summer Exactly Right Media (ERM), the podcast network founded by the hosts of My Favorite Murder, posted a cryptic tweet announcing the end of its hit podcast The Murder Squad with Jensen & Holes. While the network never issued an official statement regarding the matter, I reported that the cancelation likely stemmed from a lawsuit filed against the company by a former employee.
This time, ERM has ended a partnership with Sounds Like a Cult, a podcast launched last year that was on the literal cusp of releasing its first episode as a newly-minted member of the network. The partnership had already been announced on an episode of the network’s flagship show My Favorite Murder, and weeks earlier, its logo had been affixed to the network’s show page.
Alas, it was not to be and it will never be. That final line in their tweet, “We wish them the best of luck in all they do,” leaves no room for misunderstandings. “Goodbye and have a nice life,” it says. “We’re so over you, we didn’t even take the time to formulate this sentence correctly.”
Yesterday, a contingent of fans on the Reddit page for My Favorite Murder theorized that Exactly Right was scared away by the potential litigiousness of the cultish organizations featured by Sounds Like a Cult. This theory gained steam after a listener noted that the show had recently removed an episode covering Landmark Forum, an EST-inspired, spooky-sounding self development organization (if that name sounds familiar, you may have listened to this three-part series The 11th ran on the organization last year).
A few hours later, another post appeared in the same Reddit forum, offering “an answer”:
I followed up to see if this obviously-in-the-know Redditor would share their source for this information, but they declined, writing that “I cant give specific names because it was a ‘you didn't hear it from me’ situation :/” Adding to the cloak-and-dagger of it all, a few hours later the Redditor’s post had been “disappeared” by the moderator (see what I did there?).
In midst of all this, the personal Twitter account for one of the co-hosts of Sounds Like a Cult was deleted, while the other went on lockdown (both remain open in Instagram).
Regardless of the particulars of this situation, it’s notable that Exactly Right Media has had to drop two shows without warning in less than six months. “We don’t care,” they say. “We really don’t care.”
Steve Olsher is unloading — or ending — Podcast Magazine.
When I reached Olsher by phone this week he told me that if he doesn’t sell the publication, he won’t continue it either. “It’s time for me to do something new,” he said. “I’ve taken this as far as I can take it.”
When I asked him how much he thought it was worth, he threw out “ten million,” but I’m honestly not sure if he was serious. That’s the thing about Steve; it’s hard to tell whether he’s in on his own joke. I’ll write more about that next week — for today, let’s take a look at what’s actually for sale:
Podcast Magazine and related brand assets (website, socials, etc.).
Email addresses — Olsher said he has 31,000 Podcast Magazine subscribers and additional 20,000 emails attached to other Olsher properties.
“Club Pod,” Podcast Magazine’s presence on Clubhouse.
Reinvention Radio, Olsher’s personal podcast, which he launched in 2017. Olsher says that the podcast has received 500,000 lifetime downloads. (The bulk of recent episodes are recordings of Club Pod events.)
“Profiting From Podcasts.” A podcast coaching course. Here’s an excerpt from its website (ostensibly written by Olsher):
Grow your business with a set of advanced strategies and tactics I’ve tested “behind closed doors” and mastered over the last 25 years…I’ve boiled them down to a repeatable, easy-to-use system, I’ll implement with you LIVE. These are the little known methods that top gurus… highly ranked experts…and “Icons of Influence” use to grow their authority.
The New Media Summit, an event and brand that launched in 2017. Here’s marketing copy from the website:
Connect with ‘icons of influence’ who can make YOU famous with the push of a button. Today, more people turn to New Media platforms such as podcasts, blogs and social media channels for their entertainment, information and education than to ALL major television networks, radio stations and newspapers combined!
Icon Maker, another event and brand. Here’s a description, pulled from Olsher’s personal website:
If you’re ready to… start securing the visibility you rightfully deserve, become the ‘Icon’ you were absolutely born to be and realize the financial, spiritual and emotional freedom unlike anything you’ve ever experienced, then we highly encourage you to apply now to secure one of the available openings in ICON MAKER.
“The Ultimate Directory of Podcasters.” On the Podcast Magazine website, this is described as “the industry’s most comprehensive directory of podcasters” and features “detailed contact information for HUNDREDS of today’s leading podcasters.” Readers can purchase the directory on the Podcast Magazine website for $48.
“The Hot 50 Countdown.” This listing appears in every issue of Podcast Magazine and features the “top 50 podcasts in the land as determined by podcast fans.” Readers can vote for up to three shows, including their own show, once per day.
So there you have it. Any interest?
Just for fun, let’s do a poll —
Lastly but not leastly —
Last May, 166 audio professionals signed an open letter stating that Radio Academy ARIAS Awards nominee Nolan Investigates: Stonewall contributes to “a harmful moral panic surrounding trans people in the UK today” and asked that the academy rescind both of the podcast’s nominations (the academy declined). Since then, transgender audiomakers and their allies have spent months trying to persuade the organization to “create and implement an effective process to ensure content which discriminates against groups with protected characteristics is not celebrated at the ARIAS.”
After another public letter and additional meetings, the Radio Academy has agreed to take a first step toward meeting the group’s demands! At the organization’s annual general meeting last night, representatives announced plans to hire a DEI consultant. Let’s hope they engage with the work!
That’s all for me this week; see you next Thursday.
Postscript: Did you know that Steve Olsher and his team are in the NFT business? See below for details.