Monday saw the launch of two new comedy podcast networks. Splitsider, the New York-based blog that covers a mix of comedy trends and industry news both big and small, announced that they will host the first major podcast network on the East Coast.
On the other side of the country, former "Saturday Night Live" cast member Jay Mohr launched the Fake Mustache network.
The lineup for both networks will be made up of existing shows with dedicated audiences. Splitsider will be developing at least one new show as well, while Mohr is creating a roster of new programs in addition to three that are confirmed.
What exactly is a "podcast network," and what are the benefits of belonging to one? In an email to The Huffington Post, Splitsider editor Adam Frucci, a comedy performer himself, explained that forming a network allows the show hosts to focus on being creative rather than logistical and business details.
"By gathering [the shows] together, it lets them pool their resources, lose their hosting costs, and focus on making the best content possible without having to deal with the boring details," Frucci said.
He also pointed out that New York City does not currently have a major podcast network, unlike Los Angeles. Like Earwolf, Nerdist, Maximum Fun and Kevin Smith's SModcast Network, which are all based in L.A., Splitsider will aim to enrich a community of podcasters on the East Coast.
It's also smart content for Splitsider. The site, which is owned by The Awl, has developed a reputation as a "comedy nerd" destination for news and analysis, but much like their comedy writing section, this represents a shift from strict journalism to original content tailored to their readers.
"Much of our audience already listens to podcasts," Frucci said. "And those that don't are probably ten times more open to the idea of listening to comedy podcasts than a random person from the general public."
Splitsider's announced shows are "You Had to Be There" with Nikki Glaser and Sara Shaefer, "The Complete Guide to Everything" with Tim Daniels and Tom Reynolds, "The Jeff Rubin Jeff Rubin Show" with the titular comedian from CollegeHumor, "Left-Handed Radio" with Adam Bozarth, Dan Chamberlain, Matt Little, and Anna Rubanova, "It’s That Episode with Craig Rowin," and "A Funny Thing," a storytelling show recorded live at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre.
Mohr's venture is more of an example of the rise of podcasting as a popular entertainment. His show, the biweekly "Mohr Stories," was originally on Kevin Smith's network, where it became one of the most-downloaded podcasts. Mohr told The Hollywood Reporter that Smith let him out of his contract and encouraged him to start his own network.
Fake Mustache's roster of shows is currently made up of Mohr's flagship, "The Crab Feast" with Ryan Sickler and Jay Larson, "Talkin' Shit" with Jim Jefferies and Eddie Ifft and "The Joe McDonnell Experience," a daily sports show.
The first episode of "Mohr Stories" under the new network is available today, and features Mohr talking to guest Jay Leno.