Sheryl Worsley: KSL Radio, A Hit Podcast, and Post-Pandemic Broadcasting
Updated: May 3, 2020
This week, Sheryl Worsley from KSL Radio in Salt Lake City. While being a news director for around 20 years, she shifted in 2015 to audio and audience development in the Bonneville cluster's digital space. Sheryl and her team saw the value in podcast when a news series they were putting together was better suited for podcast than radio. Thus the hit podcast COLD— a true crime series covering the case of Susan Powell, was picked up by podcast powerhouse Wondery and soared up the podcast chart rankings. The podcast series covers every aspect of the case, every detail, every piece of evidence.
In this episode, we spoke about the nature of working on a hit podcast like COLD, the early plans, the numbers, and what's next. Also, COVID-19’s impact on listenership on both podcast and radio. Finally, we wondered what the radio workplace is going to look like post-pandemic.
Sheryl also tipped shared that KSL is working on some new podcasts - keep this page bookmarked to see their latest. Two podcasts of note that the station produces that are thriving in this COVID-19 era include Corona Virus Q&A
And hey Canada - This podcast is one we love. Because. Hockey. Jay Stevens has the Utah Puck Report.
KSL’S COLD OPTIONED FOR SERIES DEVELOPMENT
For Immediate Release
SALT LAKE CITY, UT – COLD: Susan Powell Case Files: The Untold Story, a production of KSL Podcasts in partnership with KSL Newsradio and KSL-TV, has been optioned for series development by Nina Tassler and Denise Di Novi’s PatMa Productions.
“We are fortunate to be part of an organization at Bonneville/KSL that embraces innovation and is nimble enough to move quickly on good projects. We had a lot of interest in COLD and were very selective in who we moved forward with as a partner. PatMa’s commitment to quality content and focus on issues was an important factor for us. They have an outstanding team, we are thrilled to work with them.” said Tanya Vea, Senior Vice President, Bonneville International, Salt Lake.
“We are excited to be partnering with KSL Podcasts on this very important story,” say Tassler and Di Novi said of PatMa Productions. “We know that this podcast has inspired people to speak up about domestic abuse, and in turn, it is helping to save lives. KSL Podcasts received hundreds of emails from women who were inspired by Susan’s story to leave their own domestic violence situations. We hope that by bringing this story to the screen and to a broader audience, it will do the same.”
COLD has more than 38 million downloads to date, and over 35,000 reviews on Apple Podcasts, with an overall 5-star rating. KSL Investigative Reporter, Dave Cawley hosts the podcast, which he created with Sheryl Worsley, Director of Audience Development for KSL.
In Season 1 of COLD, made up of 23 episodes (including 5 bonus episodes), Cawley used case files, journal entries, and recordings - all gleaned during a years-long investigation, to detail the case of missing Utah mother Susan Powell. Cawley examined Powell’s marriage to Josh Powell, revealed domestic abuse, and described shocking behavior from Josh and his father, Stephen Powell.
“More than 1 in 3 women and more than 1 in 4 men in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. Home isolation, however vital to the fight against this pandemic, is giving still more power to the abuser and reports of increasing rates of domestic violence are surfacing around the world. Now more than ever, we feel it is important to raise awareness of all types of intimate partner violence and provide resources to those in need,” states Tassler and Di Novi.
Susan vanished in December 2009, without her children - and without explanation. In the 10 years since Susan’s disappearance, no charges have been filed and her body has never been found.
Her husband, who was named a person of interest but never charged, subsequently killed himself and their young sons in a murder-suicide amid a custody dispute with Susan’s parents.
Tassler, Di Novi, Joan Boorstein, Dave Cawley, and KSL Podcasts will executive produce the project, possibly a limited series, which will be taken out to the marketplace shortly. Subscribe to the podcast by searching “COLD” or “Dave Cawley” in your favorite podcast app. You can also click HERE. The COLD podcast is free and available via KSL NewsRadio smartphone apps, KSL TV Connect TV apps, Apple Podcasts and Google Play.
And OMG - KSL Radio makes hockey podcasts for Canadians!