Bonneville’s “NewsRadio” KSL Salt Lake City (102.7, 1160) already had enough to consider its true crime podcast “Cold” a hit. The show has had more than 38 million downloads since its release in November 2018. The podcast also has more than 35,000 reviews on Apple Podcasts, with a five-star rating overall. Now the podcast has been optioned for development into a television series. No release date has been announced, but PatMa Productions has begun meeting with potential networks and video distributors.
“Cold” was focused on the December 2009 disappearance of Salt Lake-area mother-of-two Susan Powell. Hosted by KSL executive digital producer Dave Cawley, the podcast digs into the nitty gritty of the evidence in the nine-year-old case and the gripping details of what role Powell’s husband, Josh, may’ve played in her disappearance. And why police in suburban West Valley City never arrested him despite their suspicions that domestic abuse played a role. The podcast was the result of a three-year investigation by Cawley, a former executive producer for KSL radio’s afternoon drive news block.
“We had a lot of interest in ‘Cold’ and were very selective in who we moved forward with as a production partner. PatMa’s commitment to quality content and focus on issues was an important factor for us,” said Bonneville Senior VP Tanya Vea.
“Cold” was created in a partnership between KSL NewsRadio and KSL-TV (channel 5) as part of the company’s KSL Podcasts, a freestanding unit within Bonneville-Salt Lake City that’s led by Director of Audience Development Sheryl Worsley. “We are fortunate to be part of an organization at Bonneville/KSL that embraces innovation, and is nimble enough to move quickly on good projects,” said Vea.
PatMa Productions is the studio co-founded by former CBS programming executive Nina Tassler and Denise Di Novi. Both will serve as executive producers on the television adaptation as will Joan Boorstein and KSL’s Cawley.
“We know that this podcast has inspired people to speak up about domestic abuse, and in turn it is helping to save lives,” Tassler and Di Novi said in a joint statement, noting more than a third of women and more than a quarter of men in the U.S. have experienced abuse at the hands of their partner. “KSL Podcasts received hundreds of emails from women who were inspired by Susan’s story to leave their own domestic violence situations. We hope that by bringing this story to the screen and to a broader audience, it will do the same.”