Sister supports a new podcast studio called Campside Media.
The company is the product of some of the most influential forces in podcasting. It was founded by Josh Dean (“The Clearing”), Vanessa Grigoriadis (“Tabloid: The Making Of Ivanka Trump”), Matthew Shaer (“Over My Dead Body”) and writer / producer Adam Hoff. The new network has 11 non-fiction podcasts in production or in development, ranging from true crime stories to adventure stories.
âWe want our business to focus on creators and storytellers and we want to make sure that the quality of our shows is protected,â Dean said. âIt’s such a loaded term, but we are a prestigious company. The shows we do are expensive and they take a long time to produce and require a specific type of talent to be brought to bear. “
Many of these talents will be reporters with investigative chops.
âThe concept of the business is to work with non-fiction journalists who have written books and in most cases worked on a story for five years and keep in touch with their sources,â Grigoriadis said. . âWe believe these are the stories that need to be told in this medium. “
Sister is a global content company with its own impressive pedigree. It is headed by media director Elisabeth Murdoch, “Chernobyl” producer Jane Featherstone and former 20th Century Fox film director Stacey Snider. The move is yet another sign of the growing overlap between the worlds of Hollywood and podcasting. In recent years, Conan O’Brien and Lena Dunham, known for their small screen work, have ventured into podcasting, while popular podcasts such as “Slow Burn” and “Homecoming” have inspired television series.
âWe want to support creators wherever they are and whatever format they’re working in,â Snider said. âPodcasting is a medium that obsesses us all personally. They are so addicting and worthy of frenzy.
Campside’s programs will produce ad-supported content, as well as programs for subscription services. Her debut show is a 10-episode series on the Hollywood Con Queen Scam, the story of a con artist who posed as such important media executives as Amy Pascal, Victoria Alonso and Snider herself. It will be hosted by Dean, who co-developed the series with Grigoriadis.
Other shows are slated to launch in the company’s first year, including “Masked,” the story of a botched Seattle murder investigation (co-reported by Shaer and fellow magazine reporter and
“Over my Dead Body” alum Eric Benson) and the first of three projects developed by Sister; âThe Lostâ, hosted by Italian journalist Matteo Fagotto, and the story of a mother and daughter who reunite after being separated in a black market adoption scandal involving the Spanish government; and âHooked,â the story of a wave of bank robberies amid the opioid crisis. Created and hosted by Dean, âHookedâ is in development for television with John Ridley for ABC Studios. Sister also recently made a deal with reporter Sean Flynn to do a podcast based on on his article “The longest night”, the story of a fishing boat that sinks in the Bering Sea.
âWe want to tell complex stories based on real events and tell them in innovative ways,â Shaer said.
Sister did not disclose her financial commitment to Campside except to call it “important.” Last month, Variety announced that Sister had invested in AWA Studios, a new comic book company that grew out of a series of veteran Marvel Comics. In Campside’s case, the two companies are hoping to eventually find ways to give certain podcasts an afterlife as TV shows. Sister and Campside say they have already identified three projects to develop for television as part of a first-glance deal.
âSister has her own brand, but sometimes our plans and tastes overlap in exciting ways,â Hoff said.
Campside said the coronavirus crisis and social distancing that has become standard practice in the country complicates the way it produces shows. In the process, the company moved to conducting Zoom interviews and shipping recorders to people. He also draws on archival material, such as previously reported interrogations or wiretaps, as he works to put his podcasts together.
âIt’s definitely made it impossible to report in person,â Shaer said.