Daily Bread for 10.2.22: Old Crime TV Becomes New Crime Podcast

Good morning.

Sunday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of 67. Sunrise is 6:54 AM and sunset 6:33 PM for 11h 39m 14s of daytime. The moon is a waxing crescent with 44.3% of its visible disk illuminated.

 On this day in 1789, the Bill of Rights is sent to the states for ratification. 

There have been television shows about crimes for decades. They’ve found new life in a new medium. Josh Koblin reports Mystery Solved: ‘Dateline’ Finds Path From TV to Podcast Stardom (‘The true crime storytelling that has done so well for so long on television seems to have met a moment in an entirely new medium’): 

For years, television franchises and established news media institutions have taken turns trying to adapt to of-the-moment formats, whether digital video, newsletters or podcasts. Many times, the results are awkward and abandoned. “Pivot to video” and Facebook Live are bywords for news media experiments best forgotten.

And yet “Dateline” has transformed itself into a podcast powerhouse, churning out several original series a year, all of which have been hits. In addition, twice a week, “Dateline” opens its vault and turns old segments from the television show into podcasts. The archival material is also a success. On any given day, the “Dateline” podcast with the repurposed TV segments is usually among the top five podcasts on Apple’s charts.

What “Dateline” has done so well for so long on television — true crime, told with relish and deep reporting — appears to have met a moment in an entirely new medium.

“At a time where it is so hard for new television programs to break through, or for new brands to be established, the fact that ours seems to have renewed life? It’s great,” said Liz Cole, the executive producer of “Dateline,” who helps oversee both the TV show and the podcasts.

Listeners have downloaded “Dateline” podcast episodes nearly 800 million times since the first one appeared in 2019, NBC News said. Last year, the show beat out online heavyweights like ESPN, Barstool Sports and Crooked Media in Apple’s rankings of free podcast channels.

Of course, true crime and podcasts go hand in hand. The Hulu comedy “Only Murders in the Building” is explicitly a parody of the ubiquitousness of the genre. And there are plenty of other podcasts on the charts that center on bloody mysteries, with titles like “Morbid,” “Crime Junkie” and “My Favorite Murder.”

Still, the “Dateline” podcasts are helping the genre reach a new audience. The median age of viewers of the Friday night edition of “Dateline” is 63, according to Nielsen. On Spotify, the median age of a “Dateline” podcast listener is 41, according to data from Chartable, which was supplied by NBC News.

Consider Dateline’s Dark Valley

When film executive Gavin Smith vanishes, Los Angeles detectives search for clues amid reported sightings and suspicious circumstances. The case takes a dramatic turn when Gavin’s wife reveals painful secrets. Keith Morrison reports.

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