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The Podcast Academy to Honor Serial with Governors Award

The podcast series has been downloaded more than 420 million times

The Podcast Academy announced Friday that its Board of Governors will bestow Serial with the Governors Award, recognizing the impact a podcast or individual has had on the industry.

Serial co-creators Sarah Koenig and Julie Snyder will accept the top honor at the second annual Awards for Excellence in Audio (The Ambies) on March 22.

From the creators of This American Life, Serial debuted in October 2014 and is hosted by Koenig and edited by Snyder. The podcast series tells one story over the course of a season. In its first season, Serial investigated the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee, an 18-year-old student at Woodlawn High School in Baltimore County. Its subsequent seasons explored the story of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who was held for five years by the Taliban, followed by a look at the cases within the Justice Center Complex in Cleveland.

Serial has been downloaded more than 420 million times, making it the most listened-to podcast in the history of the form. Serial also won the 2014 Peabody Award, the first time the award was given to a podcast, as well as major awards for broadcasting including the duPont-Columbia, Scripps Howard, and Edward R. Murrow.

“The work that Sarah, Julie, and the entire Serial team have accomplished over the years is groundbreaking for the podcasting industry,” said Donald Albright, Chairperson of the Podcast Academy and President & Co-Founder of Tenderfoot TV. “Serial became a successful cultural phenomenon that changed the public’s perception of podcasts and helped elevate the medium to what it is today.

“They continue to spark curiosity and inspire podcasters new and old, which is precisely why The Podcast Academy Governors are excited to recognize them with this award.”

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The Ambies will be co-hosted by Ross Mathews and Nikki Boyer (2021 Podcast of the Year Ambies-winner; Dying for Sex) and will be streamed on Twitch at 6:00 p.m. PST/ 9:00 p.m. EST from The Mayan Theater in Los Angeles.

The ceremony will highlight 178 nominees across 25 categories with winners to be selected by every voting member of The Podcast Academy. The full list of 2022 nominees can be found on the website.

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