In today’s podcast news roundup, ABC News will take listeners on the global search for one of America’s most-wanted scammers; iHeartMedia and School of Humans explore the long history of COVID vaccines; sci-fi podcast studio startup Echoverse sets its first slate of shows; and more.
ABC News will premiere “Have You Seen This Man?” season 2 on Aug. 11 on all major podcast platforms. The six-part series documents the real-time global manhunt by the U.S. Marshals for fugitive scammer John Ruffo, currently on the agency’s “15 Most Wanted” list, who swindled banks out of $353 million and used the cash to turn himself into a Wall Street big shot before his con fell apart. The podcast is hosted by Sunny Hostin, co-host of “The View,” and features reporting by ABC News’ Matthew Mosk, who embeds with the U.S. Marshals. After pleading guilty to fraud, Ruffo was on his way to prison sentence — before he left his car at New York’s Kennedy International Airport and disappeared 23 years ago. (Listen to the podcast trailer at this link.) A four-part Hulu original limited series on the search for Ruffo is currently in production from ABC News Longform. Season 1 of “Have You Seen This Man?” followed the U.S. Marshals’ search for convicted child killer Lester Eubanks, who remains at large after nearly five decades.
iHeartMedia teamed up with School of Humans on “Long Shot,” a new original podcast that examines the 250-year journey that led to today’s COVID-19 vaccines. The series debuts Aug. 4 on iHeartRadio and all major podcast platforms. Hosted by journalist Shaun Raviv, “Long Shot” examines the history of research and trials that led to the coronavirus vaccines being developed in record time.
Alex Honnold, star of documentary film “Free Solo” and world-renowned rock climber, launched season 2 of his podcast “Climbing Gold” on July 28. The new season examines the sport’s road to inclusion in the Olympics and as a preview of the competition at the Tokyo games and a look of the future of rock climbing. The podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and other podcast platforms.
Audible will debut writer-humorist Ginny Hogan‘s scripted podcast series “Yes We Mustard,” about a corrupt condiment company, on Sept. 2. The podcast uses (fictional) news articles, emails, corporate presentations and secret recordings to introduce listeners to a California-cool CEO, a viciously jealous co-founder, overconfident Gen Z podcasters — and a journalist who will just not go away. In the series, new employee Emery is thrilled to be making “food the world needs” as the first female engineer at food startup Yes We Mustard. But as she climbs the ranks, Emery discovers a secret that could take down the company — if it doesn’t destroy her career first.
Echoverse, an L.A.-based podcast studio focusing on scripted science fiction, supernatural and fantasy audio dramas, announced a slate of projects including series from “Hellboy” creator Mike Mignola and author Thomas Sniegoski (“Fallen,” the Remy Chandler book series); writer Neal Baer (“(ER,” “Law & Order: SVU”); and Amber Benson (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”). The studio expects to launch its first series this fall. Echoverse is led by president Mark Stern, former president of original content at Syfy. Investors include Whalerock Industries, the entertainment company founded by Lloyd Braun.
Live-streaming audio service TuneIn and iHeartMedia announced a partnership under which TuneIn will distribute iHeartMedia’s more than 850 digital stations, including New York’s Z100 and Power 105.1, Los Angeles’ KISS FM and KFI FM, and Nashville’s BIG 98 WSIX. TuneIn also will gain access to local advertising demand from iHeartMedia as well as ad tech from Triton Digital (recently acquired by iHeartMedia).