HowStuffWorks, 'USA Today' Launch Podcast Series

HowStuffWorks and USA Today Network are pushing new podcasts — but in different beats. Cracked.com founder Jack O'Brien is joining HowStuffWorks to expand into comedy podcasts, while USA Today Network is teaming with investigative journalist Robin Amer on a long-form podcast called ‘The City’ to cover different metros in the U.S.

O’Brien, who left humor site Cracked earlier this month, will also be in charge of launching the HowStuffWorks’ West Coast studio in Los Angeles. He is now creative director and head of comedy at HowStuffWorks, a publisher founded in 1998 dedicated to informative podcasts, video and editorial.

“Our new West Coast studios give us an opportunity to tap into Los Angeles’ growing community of young, comedic talent. I’m really excited to launch a series of new, creator-driven comedy brands,” O'Brien said in a statement.

Comedy is just the first new podcast genre HowStuffWorks says it is investing in. New shows will launch in the coming months, according to Chief Content Officer Jason Hoch.

This month, HowStuffWorks also launched Mental Floss cofounders Will Pearson and Mangesh Hattikudur's podcast called "Part-Time Genius" for the site.

HowStuffWorks reaches a network of nearly 30 million unique visitors a month; it is No. 3 in global downloads.

Separately, Amer’s podcast "The City,: which will debut next year, will explore “different American metropolises, using news stories as a vehicle to examine each city’s power structure, revealing how our communities really work behind the scenes,” according to a statement.

Amer will work with journalists across the 109 local communities USA Today Network reaches.

Amer stated, “It’s clear that there is an investment in podcasting as a news medium ... These writers are deeply rooted in their communities and have a strong grasp of the core issues and struggles America’s cities and citizens face.”

Most recently, Amer was deputy news editor at alt weekly newspaper Chicago Reader.

USA Today Network, part of part of Gannett Co., produces more than 60 podcasts.

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