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I had posted several times here about radio programs and then podcasts that are on my listening list. I saw that the list needed updating, so I’ll use and reuse this post to keep that list up-to-date.

updateI’m not going to link to all of them, because you should just search in whatever app you use to listen. I will note that many of these can be heard by going to their website on your good old-fashioned computer – just do a search on the program title. Some of these shows have very dynamic websites with lots of additional material, so I will add website links to a few titles.

I started out years ago using “pod catchers” that no longer exist. iTunes wiped a number of them out, but I have switched over to using Stitcher on my phone and tablet. Stitcher used to be called Stitcher Smart Radio and people would say that any of these applications were like a “VCR for the radio.” Now, you have to explain what a VCR is to some young people, and might need to say they are like a “DVR for radio.” And yes, I know that radio itself is an old-fashioned medium and that some of these podcasts only exist as podcasts and are never broadcast over the radio airwaves. I have written about a few podcast programs on their own, and may posts on these site were inspired by listening to a podcast.

I realized in sifting through these shows and posts I have written that I also like to think about just listening to the world – not always via electronic devices.

I like how the Stitcher app allows me to “Listen Later” by downloading episodes I want to hear when I’m home on wi-fi, and then listen to them when I’m walking or in the car without using any data.

These are the podcasts on my phone now. I was amazed (and a bit embarrassed) that I have over 50 shows that I subscribe to currently.  They are not listed in any type of ranking or even alphabetically. However, I do have the 7 news ones at the top of my Stitcher app because they are frequently updated and brief. I start my day with the shorter “newsy” podcasts and save the longer shows for other times. Some of the other podcasts only update weekly or irregularly. You can make playlists on Stitcher and I have about 20 of these titles on a second list and I select episodes to listen to later. On my main Favorites Playlist, I can just let it run through the list when I’m working for the day at my desk on wi-fi.

The list at the bottom are the podcasts that no longer update, but that you can still find “archived” online.


  1. NPR Hourly News Summary – in less than 5 minutes
  2. The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor – mostly literary calendar items and a poem read by Keillor in 5 minutes
  3. WSJ Tech News Briefing
  4. NPR Business Story of the Day
  5. Film Reviews from WSJ with Joe Morgenstern – brief reviews of new films
  6. Marketplace Tech with Ben Brock Johnson
  7. CNET Update – pop tech
  8. The Poetry Magazine Podcast – looks at what’s in the newest issue of the magazine
  9. APM: A Prairie Home Companion’s News from Lake Wobegon – my favorite segment from the longer programs. Since, Keillor has retired, these are reruns of past shows. Timeless but for the seasons.
  10. Hidden Brain – fascinating stories that take science and research and make it interesting to anyone. Hosted by Shankar Vedantam
  11. Here’s the Thing – Alec Baldwin is a terrific host/interviewer of people in many different fields
  12. Poetry Off the Shelf – poets, poems, poetry topics
  13. Codebreaker – by Marketplace This current season asks “Can tech save us?”
  14. Fresh Air – one radio program that I have listened to since before podcasting – but podcasts allowed me to catch the shows I was missing before because their broadcast time clashed with Life. Terry Gross is the renowned host.  I’ll know that I’ve made it when I’m a guest on this show.
  15. The Business – and the business is show business, movies and television, hosted by Kim Masters
  16. Slate’s Culture Gabfest – highbrow and pop topics – highbrow and pop hosts
  17. How To Be Amazing with Michael Ian Black – actor/comedian Black really surprised me as an interviewer. He gets unusual stories from all kinds of guests.  It is a sign of a good interview show and interviewer when you love an episode about someone who you had no interest in beforehand. I found the show with Tim Gunn to be a revelation.
  18. The Treatment – mostly movies with superb host (which is often a key reason why you follow a podcast) Elvis Mitchell,
  19. Maltin on Movies – as in Leonard Maltin, film critic and human film encyclopedia. Interviews with all kinds of movie folk. Sometimes co-hosted by his daughter, Jessie.
  20. To the Best of Our Knowledge – One of my favorites. Big ideas and themes covered in different ways – such as one of my obsessions, time travel.
  21. The New Yorker Poetry – hosted by poet and poetry editor Paul Muldoon. Poet guests pick a poem from the magazine to read and then one of their own. It has not helped me crack how to get published in the magazine.
  22. FT Life of a Song – FT = Financial Times but this UK podcast is all about digging into the origins of songs in all genres.
  23. WTF with Marc Maron – He totally surprised me with this show. Excellent and unusual interviews with rockers, actors, writers, comedians and Barack Obama done in his garage. He rambles and promotes a bit too much before and after the interviews but that’s why God designed fast forward. The older episodes will cost you; the newest ones are free.
  24. On Being – formerly Speaking of Faith and wisely changed as it covers much more than faith and religion. I particularly like how science and religion sit comfortably at the same table without arguing here.  Krista Tippet is the amazing host.  Excellent website.  www.onbeing.org/
  25. Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me – a current events quiz show that’s quite funny
  26. The Sporkful – Dan Pashman’s show for eaters
  27. Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen – pop culture and the arts. Great host. Special American Icons episodes are great: Wizard of Oz, Moby Dick, Disney Parks, I Love Lucy, Superman, The Outsiders…
  28. 99% Invisible – the mostly invisible design of things
  29. The Dinner Party Download – cultural oddities and drink recipes based on history
  30. You Must Remember This – the first 100 years of Hollywood with host and writer/researcher Karina Longworth. I binged through the series on Charles Manson and another about the Hollywood Black List
  31. This Week in Tech TWiT – Leo Laporte and crew. I started listening to this years ago when Leo started his pioneering podcast network. I’ve fallen off as a listener to this and TWiG because the shows ramble on to 2 hours or more lately.
  32. This Week in Google – Leo and Jeff Jarvis with some focus on Google but almost an extension of TWiT.
  33. This Week in Law – Another one in the series hat I listen to selectively when a topic catches my fancy.
  34. On the Media – the best weekly media analysis
  35. Pop Culture Happy Hour – multiple hosts on movies, books, Tv and the rest
  36. Love + Radio – hourlong interviews but not with celebrities and not on common topics
  37. Radiolab – hard to pin down what it is about – it’s about almost anything
  38. Internet History Podcast – interviews with important figures from the Net
  39. Planet Money – the economy explained
  40. The Ezra Klein Show – in-depth, longform talks mostly on politics and media.
  41. The Book Review – from The New York Times
  42. Death, Sex and Money – and more than that in half hour installments
  43. The World Next Week – a “preview” of world events from the Council on Foreign Relations
  44. Triangulation – Leo Laporte (Man of a Thousand Podcasts) talks to smart people in tech
  45. Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty – short doses of language, writing and that scary grammar stuff in an engaging way.
  46. Slate’s Audio Book Club – monthly look at new and important books
  47. Open Source with Christopher Lydon
  48. Science Friday – just that – stories about science for the rest of us.
  49. Invisibilia – the invisible forces that control us
  50. This American Life – one of the originals. A theme is several acts fill up about an hour.
  51. Selected Shorts – short stories read aloud by actors. I tend to select selected episodes but when I just listen to an episode I am inevitably surprised to discover some new or classic story.
  52. Star Talk Radio – with Neil degrasse Tyson. Mostly out in space but not always.
  53. Freakonomics Radio – an extension of the ideas in the books. Economics (ugh!) but done in a way that is interesting (Hurrah!)
  54. The Carson Podcast – interviews with people who guested on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Always touches on Johnny and the show but also digs into the entertainers big and small interviewed.
  55. How I Built This – interviews with innovators on how they built whatever they built
  56. Lore – an odd one that explores the darker and more frightening sides of history
  57. Stuff You Should Know – grew from the articles on the http://www.stuffyoushouldknow.com/ website. Two likeable guys with more information (usually) than you on a very wide variety of topics.  Most shows are about 30 minutes.    * Things They Don’t Want You to Know – is another offshoot but needs to be seen (vodcast) and is full of all those conspiracy theories. Fun.
  58. Bookworm – If I wrote a novel, i would want all my readers to be as perceptive as host Michael Silverblatt. Anybody important in contemporary writing (fiction, non-fiction, poetry) probably has talked with him, Huge archive. From KCRW radio. www.kcrw.com/news-culture/shows/bookworm

 

Archived But Not Currently Active Programs

  • Esquire Classic Podcast – looks back at classic pieces from the magazine
  • Unretirement – Life after you retire when you still want to do.. something.
  • Serial – Year one about a 1999 murder investigation about Hae Min Lee, a high-school senior who seems to have been murdered by her classmate and ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed. Did he do it? ,The series led to the case being reopened. Year two dealt with Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl who went AWOL from a U.S. Army outpost in eastern Afghanistan.   serialpodcast.org
  • By the Way, In Conversation with Jeff Garlin – crazy, funny Jeff (Curb Your Enthusiasm) does freeform interviews on stage with folks. On hiatus while he works on his TV show, The Goldbergs which is a kind of The Wonder Years for the 1980s.
  • The Message – a kind of radio drama in the thriller genre about a message from out there that needs to be decoded.. The new season is called a LifeAfter and is about a guy who communicates with his dead wife on his smartphone.
  • Revisionist History – Malcolm Gladwell’s 10-show series taking a new look at topics revisionisthistory.com
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