CNN announces fall podcast lineup

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CNN has released its fall 2021 podcast lineup.

The first is a limited series called “Tug of War” featuring chief international correspondent Clarissa Ward, who has garnered considerable attention for her reporting from Afghanistan in recent weeks. The series will feature Ward’s travels across the world to meet the courageous people on the front lines of a battle for democracy.

“During my career I’ve always been struck by extraordinary acts of courage from ordinary people,” said Ward in a statement. “Currently authoritarian regimes are on the ascent across the world, but so are the grassroot movements resisting them. In ‘Tug of War,’ we take you to Syria, Myanmar, Russia and more to meet some of the people behind these movements and see what it takes to risk everything to fight oppression.”

Correspondent Dana Bash and senior data reporter Harry Enten will also host new podcasts.

In “Total Recall: California’s Political Circus,” Bash will explore the stranger than fiction 2003 California recall election, including the two men at the very center of it all: Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gray Davis.

“Margins of Error,” will feature Enten exploring the hidden truth in numbers and takes a closer look at topics such as phone phobias, what statistics could tell us about the evolution of dating rules, and some surprising data around the belief in ghosts.

Longtime podcaster Aminatou Sow joins CNN Audio to host When Diana Met…, a new podcast that will revisit Princess Diana’s most notable encounters with politicians, dignitaries and celebrities.

Additionally, HLN will be launching a new audio companion to its popular true crime series, “Very Scary People.” This season, the show returns to Amityville, New York to revisit the 1974 murders that would spark a cultural conversation.

Listeners will also soon be able to listen to new seasons of “Chasing Life” with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, “The Axe Files” with David Axelrod and “The Handoff” with Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon.

CNN, like many media outlets, has increased the amount of podcasts its offers significantly in recent years. The network typically produces its podcasts in the limited series format rather than a daily or weekly format that runs throughout the year.

Free podcasts can be monetized by advertising inserts, which are often short and to the point (breaks often feature only one ad), with the goal of listeners being less likely to skip them or tune out while they run.

Advertising can be dynamically inserted or “baked in” to the recording, depending on the strategy the podcast producer wants and what the platform the user is on supports.

The limited series format, meanwhile, is appealing because the entire season can be produced in a few — or even just a single — sitting.

Many limited podcast series produced by news organizations such as CNN also examine events in the past, meaning they are at least somewhat “evergreen” and can remain relevant no matter when the listener tunes in.