Noteworthy 2020 winter/spring podcasts from the Podfund portfolio

Nicola Korzenko
Jan 22 · 14 min read

Podfund continues to invest in creator-led, audio-first media companies bringing high quality, entertaining stories to listeners everywhere.

The upcoming slate from the Podfund portfolio includes 14+ new shows from our creators, exploring everything from love, infidelity, undercover FBI agents, and the right to vote.

A number of established shows from Podfund studios are launching new seasons:

  • Pushkin Industries will launch a mini-season of The Happiness Lab in January, and Broken Record will start releasing episodes continuously on January 28.
  • Al Empire, a series from Kerning Cultures about exceptional Arabs, will return for Season 2 in March.
  • Domino Sound launches season two of Scream, Queen!, a podcast about scary movies by people not typically depicted in scary movies, on February 4.

This winter we’ll also see brand new shows from the portfolio, including:

  • Dear Young Rocker from Double Elvis tells the story of a young musician navigating the industry while finding herself.
  • 36 From the Vault from Osiris Podcasts explores the musical and historical context around The Grateful Dead’s live releases.
  • Passport from Fugitive Minds takes listeners around the world and introduces a fresh, new way of thinking about travel.

Upcoming releases

Double Elvis

Dear Young Rocker

Premiered January 15

Dear Young Rocker is a first-person, coming of age story about the struggles of young adulthood and the power of music, told from a young female perspective. While highly entertaining, the show also creates a dialogue around the issues of body image, gender power dynamics and mental health, and shines a spotlight on the way these issues are severely magnified during our formative years.

“I created Dear Young Rocker to reconnect with the young emotional parts of ourselves and the singularly intense feeling of falling in love with your favorite band for the first time, because I think teenage feelings actually mean something and as much as I wish I could say to the younger me, I know our present selves can learn something from the kid in us too. I want my story to help anyone who’s ever struggled with self-doubt and isolation and found power, freedom and connection in music.” — Chelsea Ursin, creator and host

Citizen Critic

Premieres February 10

Citizen Critic is a comedy chat show hosted by Scott Janovitz and Greg Conley where we critique the critics, because really… what do any of us know?

Whether it be a professional critic taking down Miles Davis’ album On the Corner for being “repetitious crap”, an amateur critic on Trip Advisor giving the cherry blossom festival in DC one star because the trees blossomed a week before he got there (the fucking nerve of them!), or a confused diner on Yelp savaging the Chipotle staff for chanting, “Moe’s, Moe’s, Moe’s” repeatedly, not realizing he was actually eating at Moe’s and not Chipotle, there is no shortage of venues for people to launch their criticisms into the void, and we’re there to catch them.

Sound of Our Town

Premieres March 19

Sound of Our Town is a travel podcast hosted by Will Dailey about the music in the next town you visit: where to go to hear and experience the best music and why; what sounds shaped that city or town’s culture and what new sounds continue to define it.

This isn’t a music show. It’s a show about travel. About wanderers. Free spirits. Whether you are quickly dropping in and jumping out or in for a long stay, Sound of Our Town will introduce to you the real sonic STORIES and PLACES that echo in that city so your travel is enriched with music.

About Double Elvis Productions:

Double Elvis Productions is an audio-driven media company rooted in podcasting. With a focus on music and pop culture, co-founders Jake Brennan (Disgraceland) and Brady Sadler develop wildly entertaining original content and experiences, while creating a platform for artists and modern storytellers.

Pushkin Industries

Deep Background with Noah Feldman

Available everywhere February 5

Every story has a backstory, even in today’s 24-hour news cycle. In Deep Background, Harvard Law School professor and Bloomberg View columnist Noah Feldman brings together a cross-section of expert guests to explore the historical, scientific, legal, and cultural context that help us understand what’s really going on behind the biggest stories in the news.

Deep Cover

Premieres March 30

Marijuana, guns, a dictator, the Cold War, and the greatest undercover drug bust in history. The true story of an FBI agent in Detroit who goes undercover in an outlaw motorcycle gang, following a bizarre series of discoveries that inadvertently lead to the US invasion of Panama, hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, journalist, and radio producer Jake Halpern.

The Happiness Lab

Mini-season runs weekly throughout January; Season 2 premieres April 28

Research shows we all look for moments to make a fresh start — new years, new seasons, new decades. Our optimism about making big, positive changes is strong, but it fades quickly. As we enter 2020, Dr Laurie Santos examines ways we can maintain our new habits beyond January. This mini-season includes a live taping with Arianna Huffington.

Broken Record

Returns weekly starting January 28 and will be ongoing throughout 2020

For generations of music lovers, the liner notes on albums were a central part of the way music was heard. You bought an album and it came with an accompanying narrative: a digression, an aside, a backstory — maybe even an invented history. We intuitively understood that great music required not just listening but conversation between the artist and the audience and the audience and the rest of the world. Broken Record is a podcast that restarts those conversations — in a world without liner notes — for a new audience of music lovers. Broken Record is hosted by Justin Richmond with interviews by the producer Rick Rubin, the writer Malcolm Gladwell, and the former New York Times editor Bruce Headlam. First guests include Booker T. Jones, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, and Robbie Robertson of The Band.

About Pushkin Industries:

Pushkin Industries is an audio production company founded by Malcolm Gladwell and Jacob Weisberg that is dedicated to creating premium content in a collaborative environment. Our shows include Gladwell’s Revisionist History, Michael Lewis’s Against the Rules, Laurie Santos’ The Happiness Lab, and Broken Record, in which hosts Malcolm Gladwell, Rick Rubin, and Bruce Headlam interview some of the biggest names in music. We partner with some of the most interesting creative minds in the world to produce podcasts that will inspire curiosity and incite joy. Pushkin is dedicated to pushing the boundaries of the podcasting business, and, like our namesake Alexander Pushkin, endlessly innovating.

Osiris Media

Freak Flag Flying

Premiered January 6

Freak Flag Flying features legendary musician David Crosby in conversation with his friend, author Steve Silberman. This four-episode series covers David’s earliest musical relationships with peers like Bob Dylan, Jerry Garcia, Jefferson Airplane, and Steely Dan. It also explores his current period of prolific music creation, which includes collaborations with his son, James Raymond, with whom he recently connected for the first time, and Michael League of Snarky Puppy.

36 From the Vault

Premiered January 15

36 from the Vault is the definitive exploration of The Grateful Dead’s celebrated live show releases. Hosted by author and podcaster Steven Hyden and music journalist Rob Mitchum, this new series will look at the musical and historical context for each of the Dead’s live releases.

Politics of Truth

Premieres February 4

Politics of Truth is a hybrid music/politics show hosted by Bob Crawford of The Avett Brothers. Every week, starting just before the Iowa Caucuses and running up to the election in November, Bob will talk with a guest from music or politics about the issues, the stakes, and the relationship between music and politics.

About Osiris Media:

Osiris Media creates deeper connections for music fans, by creating and curating music and culture podcasts and experiences, and helping like-minded advertisers get in front of engaged customers. Started in 2018 by Phish lead songwriter Tom Marshall and Phish uber-fan RJ Bee, Osiris’s shows focus on music and culture, from podcasts featuring high-profile musicians (including shows led by Bob Crawford of The Avett Brothers and Jon Barber of The Disco Biscuits) to explorations of specific bands and genres.

Kerning Cultures Network

Al Empire

Season 2 premieres in March

Al Empire features exceptional Arabs around the world and their journey to the top. Each episode gets into the intimate, and sometimes uncomfortable questions, confronting romanticized views of reaching success by celebrating our guests’ wins but also unpacking their challenges. Language: English

(Name TBD) “Love”

Season 1 premieres in early February

How does love impact the everyday realities of our lives? Unpacking the seemingly mundane that comes with relationships, each episode features a couple and how they navigate their hearts’ emotions alongside changing gender roles, financial responsibilities, social pressures, mental health, sex, and other aspects of shared life. Language: Arabic

Kerning Cultures

Episode highlight: A chronicle of the appropriation of hummus aired January 15

Stories from the Middle East and the spaces in between. Immersive documentaries like one man’s mission to revive specialty coffee in Yemen amidst the current war, a Filipina domestic worker’s love story abroad in Lebanon, and a typographer’s lifelong pursuit to overhaul the Arabic script. The Guardian calls Kerning Cultures “the This American Life of the Middle East”, and it’s also a personal favorite of Sarah Jessica Parker!

About Kerning Cultures Network:

Kerning Cultures Network is the first venture-funded podcast company in the Middle East. Our podcasts are a digital revival of the region’s longstanding oral storytelling tradition. As children of the Middle East, we’ve grown up with media that doesn’t represent us. So we tell the kinds of stories in which we can actually see ourselves reflected. Because we love stories, and there are so many from our region just waiting to be told. Our current line-up includes both English and Arabic podcasts, across many genres.

Fugitive Minds


Premieres February 11

It is often said, one’s destination isn’t always a place, but a new way of seeing things. Our world has never been a more interconnected place, and yet, there is still so much we don’t know about each other. Passport flips that lens — that new way of seeing things — into focus. We travel the globe and find the stories, topics, and people that truly illuminate the soul of a place. And we’ll ask some vital questions like: Can K-pop save the world?

The 19th

Premieres mid-March

The 19th is a bold and funny look at the seismic shifts that have shaped a century of women — from the passage of the 19th amendment (100 years ago) giving women the right to vote — right up to the present day. From suffragettes in white to pink pussy hats on the National Mall, from bra burning to the Bechdel Test, from Rubyfruit Jungle to Lemonade, The 19th takes a deep dive into the evolving feminist narrative, highlighting pivotal moments of transformation, liberation and female power. Unleashed, playful, and incisive, The 19th is framed as a collection of Cultural Climaxes: the juicy untold and under-told stories of the trailblazers and shapeshifters who dreamed, fought, sacrificed, and totally kicked ass, to tear down walls, smash through ceilings and make their voices heard. The 19th is written by Leigh Fondakowski (The Laramie Project) and executive produced by Arlan Hamilton.

About Fugitive Minds:

Fugitive Minds is a podcast company specializing in cinematic narrative and travel shows. Every Fugitive project is a deep dive into a story. Sometimes that’s a single episode format filled with fascinating tales from around the world — beer smuggling in Jerusalem, Game of Thrones conflict tourism in Belfast, doomsday prepping in Helsinki. Sometimes that’s a multi-episode arched series that unveils a thrilling story — like the exploits of the greatest conmen the world has ever seen. All Fugitive Minds stories are adventures at the speed of sound.

Domino Sound

The Color Grade

Premieres January 31 with an eight episode special release, then continues as a seasonal weekly series

The Color Grade, a new film podcast premiering at Sundance, analyzes the festival’s biggest films through a culturally diverse lens. Hosted by film critic Joi Childs, TCG features reviews and interviews with the POC filmmakers, actors, and critics.

The Cheat Code

Premieres February 13

Can you cheat your way to happily ever after? The Cheat Code tells the story of one couple’s epic journey of marriage, infidelity, divorce, and true love. Season 1 follows the story of Andrea and Jason, whose first-person narrative gives listeners an uncensored look at the anatomy of an affair: the good, the bad, and the messy.

Scream, Queen!

Season 2 premieres February 4

Scream, Queen! is a podcast about scary movies, by people not typically depicted in scary movies. Hosts Drea Washington and Tommy Pico (Food 4 Thot) dish about what goes bump in the night — from a black/queer/indigenous perspective — and have a damn good time.

About Domino Sound:

Domino Sound is a woman-owned, Brooklyn-based podcast studio that aims to bring equity to the world of podcasting by promoting acceptance, inclusion, and awareness through authentic storytelling. Led by Alexandra DiPalma (formerly Brand Studio Director at Stitcher) and Kenya Anderson (who hails from the TV and film world), Domino produces both original shows and branded podcasts, and provides production services to clients. Their slate includes Food 4 Thot, Akimbo with Seth Godin, Raising Rebels, and Scream, Queen!.

DIVE Studios

How Did I Get Here? w/ Jae of Day6

Premieres February 4

This new show revolves around internet culture, memes, and current events with popular K-Pop artist Jae of Day6.

About DIVE Studios:

Founded by a team of music business creatives, DIVE Studios is an English-language podcast network focused on K-pop and Asian culture. Within six weeks of launch, their first podcast, K-Pop Daebak with Eric Nam, reached #1 in the music category on Apple Podcasts in 18 different countries. Their second show, The Tablo Podcast, debuted August 2019 and reached #1 in the music category on Apple Podcasts in 22 different countries, quickly amassing a cult following.

Upcoming notable episodes

Dot Dot Dot

First Contact

Episode Highlight: Reading your text message ‘body language’ on January 20

Imagine an A.I. Assistant that reads all of your text messages… and turns them into a pile of data points. A human psychology report. And then it guides you. The assistant can say — “hey, the person you’re talking to is introverted. You may want to be a bit delicate when you message them.” The assistant will tell you the likelihood — down to the percentage — that the person you’re texting likes you… in a romantic way. But you’re going to have to give over a lot of your data in exchange. It’s a classic privacy dilemma. The tech exists. It was created by an entrepreneur named Es Lee and built into an app called Mei. Could AI detect our mood and guide us to communicate better? And what are the ethical issues that come along with tech so personal? In this episode of First Contact, Laurie and Es talk about what happens when you mix artificial intelligence with raw human emotion.

About Dot Dot Dot:

Dot Dot Dot is a news and entertainment company that explores the intersection of tech and humanity. We cover topics like mental health, love and sex, ethics, and the unintended consequences of technology in our daily lives. Our mission is to help us feel human again in today’s connected world.

If These Ovaries Could Talk

Episode Highlight: Kathy Tu from WNYC’s Nancy joins ITOCT on January 20

Kathy talks about not wanting to have kids, that time she donated her eggs, twice, and if she ever thinks about tiny Kathy’s running around the world that she’s never met. We also talk about what it’s like to be a young queer person with a family of origin that doesn’t talk much.

Staceyann Chin is also scheduled to return to the podcast in February to talk body image and moms. For this episode we’re flipping the script: Staceyann will be interviewing Jaimie and Robin.

About If These Ovaries Could Talk:

If These Ovaries Could Talk is a podcast where two lesbians chat about making babies and non-traditional families. Each episode highlights LGBTQ families, lifting them up, normalizing them for the rest of the world to see as well as acknowledging that we’re just like other parents who are trying not to yell at our kids when they refuse to put their shoes on and we’re 25 minutes late for school. Prominent guests such as Judy Gold, Iowa State Senator Zach Wahls, Staceyann Chin, Ophira Eisenberg and Bravo TV’s The Abbys. In the past year, ITOCT has been featured on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, selected as Editor’s Choice on Stitcher and, and won the LGBTQ category for the People’s Choice Podcast Awards.

Locked On Podcast Network

We’re in the heart of the NBA season and Locked On Podcast Network has league-wide NBA podcasts for every day (and every team).

NBA Team Podcasts

Follow the second half of the NBA season as the action heats ups and the unpredictable trade deadline approaches with a local team podcast from real insiders and local experts. Locked On covers every NBA team including shows for the league-leading Lakers, Nuggets, Bucks, and Celtics. Find your favorite team podcast here and become the smartest fan this season with the Locked On Podcast Network. Your Team. Every Day.

Locked On NBA Podcast

Highlighted by Ben Golliver of the Washington Post, Locked On NBA Podcast is the only daily NBA league podcast you’ll ever need. News, updates, and analysis from around the league in 30 minutes a day from the hosts of the Locked On Podcast Network: David Locke, the voice of the Utah Jazz; Josh Lloyd, NBA expert and fantasy guru; and joined along the way by John Karalis, Jake Madison, Adam Mares, Anthony Irwin, Wes Goldberg and David Ramil.

Hollinger & Duncan NBA Show

NBA analytics pioneer and front office insider John Hollinger joins Dunc’d On podcast host Nate Duncan to bring you the smartest weekly NBA podcast anywhere. Hollinger & Duncan NBA Show brings fans next-level analysis of the league, teams, and players. John and Nate take you behind the curtain for an unmatched insider look at every aspect of the NBA. From scouting reports to game breakdowns to salary cap analysis, there’s no better way for true basketball fans to follow the NBA.

Rejecting the Screen Podcast

SiriusXM NBA Radio host Noah Coslov and longtime NBA evaluator Adam Stanco talk NBA basketball on Rejecting the Screen. Each week, they read between the big story lines of conventional NBA thinking and give their own spin on the conversation. Plus, Noah and Adam deliver a must-listen weekly interview podcast with big names and personalities in the NBA including current and former players, coaches, officials, and other newsmakers in and around the National Basketball Association.

About Locked On Podcasts:

Locked On is the nation’s #1 producer of daily, local sports podcasts and one of the top producers of podcast episodes in the country. Locked On’s roster of 150 shows reach avid sports fans wherever they live, covering NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL Teams, league-wide podcasts covering major sports leagues, leading major college sports teams and conferences, and has some of the industry’s top-ranked draft and fantasy sports podcasts. Locked On’s audience has more than doubled every year since 2016 and is now among the top five sports podcast networks.

The NewsWorthy

We already know Americans have been feeling ‘news fatigue’ for a while now, so just wait until 2020! From the upcoming senate impeachment trial to the months ahead of nonstop election coverage, we are in for another intense year of news. The goal of the daily news podcast The NewsWorthy is to help Americans stay informed and part of the national conversation without feeling overwhelmed. By condensing the day’s news into just 10 minutes each weekday, offering an unbiased overview about a variety of topics, and encouraging listeners to read more about the stories that interest them the most, The NewsWorthy makes it faster, easier and more enjoyable to stay informed.

About The NewsWorthy:

Award-winning broadcast journalist Erica Mandy is on a mission to help people enjoy staying informed. After more than a decade as a TV news reporter covering mostly doom and gloom, she quit her job to launch the daily news podcast, The NewsWorthy. It provides all the day’s news in less than 10 minutes in a quick, unbiased and less depressing way — in what she calls “fast, fair and fun.” The NewsWorthy has been featured across multiple platforms and media outlets from Apple Podcasts to Fast Company.

Dreamer Comics

Episode highlights: Kevin Eastman Creator Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Episode 100! and Best of 100 Episodes, Clip Show!

Release date: December 2019

Dreamer Comics Podcast tells the story behind your favorite comic and its the journey from idea to page, all the way to TV and film. In an interview, Kevin Eastman talks about bringing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to Issue 100 and how he helped build the global franchise.

Then, join us to celebrate our greatest hits with clips from all 100 of our awesome episodes in episode 101 to kick off the new year!

About Dreamer Comics:

Dreamer Comics is a weekly podcast where host Omar Spahi interviews comic book creators, including writers, pencillers, inkers, colorists, letterers, editors, and executives, to understand the stories behind the images. Omar is a serial entrepreneur, comic book writer and publisher, and film producer.


We support emerging podcast creators.

Nicola Korzenko

Written by

Brooklyn, board games, bocce, and



We support emerging podcast creators.

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