The WILD New Podcast That Is The Perfect Show for These Astounding Times

So many aspects of the pandemic are addressed but are done with immersive storytelling. The human element of COVID is at the center and, thankfully, communities that are often overlooked are at its heart… In media, there is an emphasis on creating evergreen content. But there is no greater value than in telling stories that glisten with the tears and perspiration of a moment in time. - Gabe Zaldivar, En Fuego, Sports Illustrated


Speaking of greatness, Galindo and his wonderful team at LAist studios put out a beautiful podcast called Wild. It’s a show about growing up in the pandemic, but that’s just the tagline. When I listen to it, I hear the ambition and lived experience of a redhead Mexican kid growing up in the ‘hood. I hear emotional stories of personal and career triumphs, emotional growth, deconstruction of systemic issues, complicated ideas of home, poetry, sketches, humor, and love. When I listen to Wild, I feel proud that a foo from SELA made it. - Cesar Hernandez, LA Taco

Diane Guerrero appears on “Tamron Hall Show” to talk mental health and new podcast

Diane Guerrero is a fiery Latinx actress who took Hollywood by storm over the past decade. You may have seen her in “Orange Is the New Black” or “Jane the Virgin,” in one of her standout roles. Although Diane has seen success in recent years, her childhood trauma still impacts her today. Diane’s talks about her parents being deported when she was 14, her new mental health-centered podcast, “Yeah No, I’m Not Ok,” and more with Tamron Hall.

"Crime Writers On…" hosts give Norco '80 four thumbs up

The hosts of “Crime Writers On...” — Rebecca Lavoie, Kevin Flynn, Lara Bricker and Toby Ball — gave “Norco ‘80” a unanimous thumbs up, praising the show for its engaging and suspenseful storytelling, new reporting, and the way in which it adds context to timely issues such as the militarization of police.

The Daily Beast profiles Norco ‘80, “a riveting retelling of a 1980 heist”

A true-crime podcast is nothing if it can’t paint a vivid picture of its central events while also drawing listeners into its tale with first-person accounts, contextual historical background, and compelling and insightful characters. Norco ’80, fortunately, hits all those marks, and moreover, it has a story that’s not only gripping in its own right but boasts considerable relevance for today, when issues of discriminatory cops and law-enforcement militarization are at the forefront of the national conversation. -Nick Schager, Daily Beast

Vulture recommends Norco ‘80

Guided by host Antonia Cereijido, the show flutters across time and space, rapidly shifting among different characters and narrative threads to weave together a dense picture. The takeaway is that a crime isn’t just a crime, but the outcome of complex societal forces. - Nick Quah, Vulture

Walter Thompson-Hernández on crafting his Webby Award-winning love letter to LA

Named after and inspired by Tupac’s famous 1995 song, California Love is an audio memoir of Thompson-Hernández’ experiences growing up in Los Angeles—and eventually returning home. The final result is a series of intimate vignettes of his memories in LA, finding connection and inspiration throughout the city, and an examination of the social issues that still impact The City of Angels. The podcast won a 2021 Webby Award for Original Music Score / Best Sound Design.

Variety names “California Love” host among 10 Storytellers to Watch

“In my travels, there were people who ascribed to a lot of stereotypes about L.A.,” [Walter Thompson-Hernández] says. “And I kept finding myself in different parts of the world defending L.A., and a part of me really wanted to get the story of the city that I knew out: A deeply introspective, personal memoir about the city of Los Angeles from a person of color who was born and raised here.” That was the genesis of the award-winning podcast “California Love,” which saw Thompson-Hernández take stock of everything from his own upbringing (one episode features an interview with his mother, another with a childhood friend) to L.A.’s invasive parrot population, the death of Kobe Bryant and the horseback riding culture of Compton.

Adweek bestows LAist Studios with three Podcast of the Year Awards in 2020

LAist Studios received three awards from Adweek in their 2020 Podcast of the Year Awards, including Podcast Producer of the Year for Megan Tan, Podcast Innovator of the Year for “California Love” host Walter Thompson-Hernández and Podcast Episode of the Year the “California Love” episode entitled P Line.

“Norco ‘80” honored by New York Festivals

“Norco ‘80” received a Silver Award for Best Serialized Podcast in New York Festivals’ Radio Awards. “California City” and “California Love” were also named finalists in the competition.

“California Love” tops Best of 2020 lists

Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Amazon Music all named “California Love” as one of the best podcasts of the year in 2020. LAist Studios’ award-winning podcast from host Walter Thompson-Hernández was also included in year-end “best of” lists from The Atlantic, IndieWire, NPR, CBC and Bello Collective included both “California Love” and “California City” on it’s Top 100 list.

The Hollywood Reporter unveils LAist Studios podcast slate

Southern California Public Radio has assembled a slate of podcasts through shingle LAist Studios and, true to their origin, the stories are focused on the Golden State…"The diversity of L.A. is really a calling card," says SCPR president and CEO Herb Scannell, explaining that he wanted to "lean into that" with the new projects from 11-month-old LAist Studios. "We want to tell L.A. stories to the world." – The Hollywood Reporter, Natalie Jarvey

Fast Company profiles 'Servant of Pod' host Nick Quah: “Podcasting’s best listener”

“Nick Quah has been covering pods of all stripes for most of the past decade. His reviews and columns appear in Vulture, and he’s been publishing his Hot Pod newsletter on the business behind the medium since 2014. Now, you guessed it, he’s launching a podcast of his own. Given his pedigree, it makes sense that Quah’s pod is covering the business and culture of podcasting.” – Jeff Beer, Fast Company

Kerry Washington talks diversity in Hollywood with John Horn”

“Kerry Washington is hopeful about the future of Hollywood, but she knows there's a lot of work still to be done. The actress was a guest on the first episode of the ‘Hollywood, the Sequel’ podcast this week, where she spoke about the renewed national focus on the Black Lives Matter movement and the effects it will hopefully have on the entertainment industry and the country as a whole. ‘We have to be willing to look at ourselves, regardless of what industry we're in,’ she said. ‘We look at ourselves to get better and do better. When we say we're committed to diversity -- it's diverse from what? We're still centering whiteness as the most important thing and inviting diversity around that.’" – Entertainment Tonight, Meredith B. Kile

The Observer recommends "dreamy and immersive" California Love and "sterling" California City”

““An excellent new podcast from New York Times writer and Los Angeles native Walter Thompson-Hernández, ‘California Love’ seeks to take its listener to a particular time and, of course, place...There’s solid journalism in here, plus sound techniques that weave voices in and out of Thompson-Hernández’s narration. The feel is dreamy and immersive, a teensy bit George the Poet-esque.”
“The nasty side of the west coast dream. ‘California City’ Host Emily Guerin does sterling work investigating what at first seems a fairly straightforward land ownership scam, where vulnerable people, often immigrants, are persuaded to invest in a piece of near-worthless land.” – Miranda Sawyer, The Observer

Podcast Review names California City and California Love as best new podcasts to check out in July”

“On ‘California Love,’ [Walter] Thompson-Hernández reflects on his love for LA, but also its increasing imperfections… Part memoir and part documentary, the podcast finds Thompson-Hernández reminiscing about his childhood alongside interviews with a wide range of native Angelenos. There is much to savor in this series, from its immersive soundtrack of ‘90s West Coast hip-hop to its frequently surprising narrative arcs. California Love is one of this year’s most innovative and moving podcasts.”
“’California City,’ a new podcast from LAist Studios, exposes the history of cheating investors in a rather unimaginatively named city in California, California City…host Emily Guerin blends investigative journalism on these ongoing predatory practices with a fascinating history of how this scammer’s paradise came to be.” – Podcast Review

Orange County Register: The great lost city of California, and life in Los Angeles, are explored in new podcasts”

““This month, two new podcasts aim to look at our state from two very different viewpoints…[Emily] Guerin’s podcast tells the story of California City. Located within the Mojave Desert, California City promised the American Dream to many, but the podcast lays out how the planned community incorporated in 1965 failed to live up to its big plans…[Walter] Thompson-Hernández, who currently resides in Lincoln Heights, shares candid stories about his childhood and teenage years throughout ‘California Love,’ and he tapped family members and old friends to speak on a myriad of topics including race and identity, policing in communities of color, and joy and redemption…Thompson-Hernández tells his stories in such a compelling way that listeners can relate to the larger conversation about belonging.” – Kelli Skye Fadroski, Orange County Register

The Big One named one of the best podcasts of 2019 by Vulture

The Big One has a slightly oddball premise that’s fascinating enough to be worth the price of admission. Produced by Southern California Public Radio (KPCC), this limited-run podcast endeavors to give listeners a sense of what to expect when the San Andreas fault line that lies beneath the city inevitably rips, and what they should be prepared to do. Half service journalism and half speculative fiction, it’s an innovative piece of science journalism that pulls off the execution. It’s also a pretty fun listen … or at least, as fun as an end-times survival guide can be. - Nicholas Quah, Vulture

“The Big One” Podcast: Anticipating a Devastating L.A. Earthquake

“The Big One,” a podcast that débuted yesterday from the Southern California NPR station KPCC, is riveting for similar reasons. It reminds us of a fact that we enjoy not thinking about: that the San Andreas Fault, which runs nearly the length of California, is due for a giant shakeup. A devastating earthquake could come any minute—or not for another several decades. Whenever it is, Los Angeles could be hit hard. “The Big One” aims to prepare the listener by explaining the likely destruction that such an earthquake would cause, its ripple effects, and its science. It’s the stuff of nightmares. But—even though it inspires a strong urge to avoid living in California—it’s also strangely reassuring. - Sarah Larson, The New Yorker

The Guardian recommends Repeat

From the opening, Gilbertson’s dogged approach had me hooked, and it was clear she would go to whatever lengths possible to try and answer that central question. Throughout the series, Gilbertson’s storytelling is supported by illuminating interviews and Andrew Eapen’s hauntingly beautiful score. Equal parts enlightening and exasperating, Repeat is a necessary dive into the lengths to which police departments will go to protect their own. - Juniper Simonis