PRX and ‘Esquire’ team up on podcast

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Esquire magazine and Public Radio Exchange launched a podcast Monday focusing on nonfiction articles from the magazine’s 82 years of archives.

Esquire Classic “dissects iconic Esquire stories by writers such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Nora Ephron, and Tom Junod, and reveals the cultural currents that make them as lasting and timely today as when they were first published,” according to a press release.

The podcast is hosted by David Brancaccio, host of Marketplace Morning Report. In the first episode, Brancaccio discusses the magazine’s “most-read story of all time,” according to the release, an article by Junod about an infamous photo from 9/11 of a man falling from the north tower of the World Trade Center.

The podcast is starting as a three-episode pilot with new episodes coming out biweekly. However, the organizations hope to produce more episodes if the podcast can sustain itself financially.

“Both PRX and Esquire want to continue, but that will depend on two things: the rate of subscriber growth and the appeal/interest of sponsors,” said John Barth, PRX chief content officer, in an email. “We think we have something really special here and even though the costs of production are relatively low, it has to make business sense to proceed. The marketing prowess of Esquire and the power of their brand is key to the acceleration we need to make this a sustainable podcast.”

As part of the partnership, PRX built the production team and is distributing the podcast, according to a PRX spokesperson. PRX also offered advice on the podcast’s sound, design and content and is handling sponsorships and marketing. It also plans to sell the show to stations for broadcast.

“It is amazing how deftly PRX and David Brancaccio explore and exploit what can make a story into something that stands the test of time,” said David Granger, the editor-in-chief of Esquire, in the press release. “With the launch of Esquire Classic, the complete digital archive of the magazine, we’ve been working to make the past not just present but urgent. PRX is the best partner we could have in this venture.”