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KQED Acquires the Snap Judgment and Spooked Podcasts

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August 8, 2023–San Francisco, CA – KQED, the NPR and PBS member station based in San Francisco, announces the acquisition of the popular award-winning public radio program and podcast series Snap Judgment and podcast series Spooked. The programs, produced by Snap Judgment Studios and distributed by PRX, add to KQED’s growing list of award-winning nationally and locally focused podcasts and public radio programs that both inform and entertain listeners with fact-based journalism and evocative storytelling.

Snap Judgment has a diverse team of creative producers whose unique storytelling has grown large and loyal broadcast and podcast audiences over more than a decade,” says Michael Isip, KQED’s President & CEO. “Adding their two established productions and an exceptional talent like Glynn Washington brings KQED new opportunities to grow our audiences and new possibilities to develop a pipeline of new podcast productions.”

Glynn Washington, host of the Snap Judgment and Spooked podcasts. Photo by Smeeta Mahanti. Courtesy Snap Studios. (Smeeta Mahanti)

Hosted by Glynn Washington, Snap Judgment mixes real stories with music to produce cinematic, dramatic programs. The series’ musical brand of storytelling dares listeners to see the world through the eyes of others. Snap Judgment was launched in 2010 by Washington and Co-Executive Producer Mark Ristich. Today, the weekly radio broadcast airs on over 460 NPR stations across the country – including in the top 10 U.S. markets, with an average of approximately 1.5 million podcast downloads each month.

Snap Judgment was born from public media, and our partnership with KQED means that Snap storytelling will stay in public media – where it belongs,” said Washington.

In 2017, Snap Judgment Studios launched Spooked, the podcast that features true-life supernatural stories, told first-hand by people who experienced them. The program has since released eight seasons worth of dramatic, spine-tingling episodes that challenge listeners’ notions of reality, including a handful of seasons as part of the subscription podcast network Luminary. As part of a partnership with KQED and PRX announced in April 2023, Spooked no longer requires a paid subscription to listen and is free on-demand across all major podcast platforms.


“If Snap Judgment is about empathy, Spooked storytelling is about wonder,” says Washington. “We are proud that millions of listeners go on audio adventures with us every week, and are thrilled that our partnership with KQED allows us to bring audiences into someone else’s shoes.”

Snap Judgment and Spooked join a roster of award-winning KQED radio programs and podcasts that includes Forum, The California Report, Bay Curious, On Our Watch, MindShift, Rightnowish, Political Breakdown, The Bay and others. “KQED has a reputation both locally and nationally as an innovator and leader in public media,” says Holly Kernan, Chief Content Officer at KQED. “We are continuing to grow and establish ourselves in the podcast space as well. We couldn’t imagine a more well-suited partner than the Snap Judgment Studios team to help us become one of the names audiences think about when they think of podcasts – one that is locally rooted and nationally relevant.”

KQED and Snap Judgment’s history of collaboration includes partnering for the last Snap Judgment LIVE Stageshow at a sold out Paramount Theatre in Oakland. Washington played host to inaugural PRX Podcast Garage at KQED and KQED Live events when those programs launched in KQED’s newly refurbished headquarters in 2021. And the current “Summer of Spooked” partnership will culminate in an October 13 event at the historic Fox Theatre in Oakland.

As part of the agreement, the productions of Snap Judgment Studios become part of Snap Studios LLC, a subsidiary of KQED. Snap Judgment and Spooked will be produced independently by Snap Studios’ creative team, and both shows will continue to be distributed to public radio and for free across all major podcast platforms by PRX.

“We’re so proud that PRX has been a part of Snap Judgment’s journey since the beginning. Snap Judgment and Spooked represent the creative ambition, audio inspiration and innovative storytelling that captures the spirit of public media,” says Kerri Hoffman, CEO of PRX. “As we congratulate Glynn and the team on this exciting new chapter, we’re also pleased to continue deepening our enriching partnership with KQED.”

About KQED
KQED serves the people of Northern California with a public-supported alternative to commercial media. An NPR and PBS affiliate based in San Francisco, KQED is home to one of the most listened-to public radio stations in the nation, one of the highest-rated public television services and an award-winning education program helping students and educators thrive in 21st century classrooms. A trusted news source and leader and innovator in interactive technology, KQED takes people of all ages on journeys of exploration — exposing them to new people, places and ideas. kqed.org

About Snap Judgment Studios
Snap Judgment Studios is an audio production house in Oakland dedicated to compelling narratives, creative sound design, killer beats and authentic voices. Their flagship show Snap Judgment is hosted by Glynn Washington and is a mainstay on the public radio dials. Their spin-off Spooked is critically acclaimed as the gold standard of supernatural storytelling. Snap Judgment Studios is currently in production on several long-form series slated for Q4 of 2023.

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