Podcast Ad Reps is taking its first step beyond being just a rep firm. The year-old company has released its first PAR Original Podcast. The series is called True Crime Reporter, which PAR is producing in a partnership with investigative reporter Robert Riggs.
“Our strategic plan has always been to eventually share our expertise — and some of the development costs — to bring what we feel is solid content to market,” said PAR President Rick Selah. He explained the decision to move into content development came as part of its effort to match the needs of content creators and advertising buyers. “We saw significant demand from our agency and brand partners for preferred content that we needed to expand within our catalog of shows,” said Selah.
That plan moved from the drawing board to the production studio when PAR executives met Riggs and their two visions meshed. The result was this week’s launch of True Crime Reporter. The debut season will focus on Kenneth Allen McDuff, a serial killer who was the only person to ever receive three death sentences in that state’s history. The 15-episode season of “Free to Kill” will look at how the criminal justice system failed when it allowed McDuff to walk out of prison in 1989 after receiving parole from his first death sentence for the brutal murders of three teens in 1966. Known as the “Broom Stick Killer,” McDuff started a new killing spree one day after being released.
Riggs knows the McDuff story well, having covered it for years. In the podcast, he draws on his previous reporting and extensive law enforcement sources, who can finally talk candidly about the previously unrevealed details of their investigations. In the podcast, Riggs also reveals how he uncovered a massive bribery scandal inside the state’s parole system that set McDuff and hundreds of violent criminals loose.
True Crime Reporter is slated to launch Sept. 28. Meantime, PAR and Riggs have partnered with the New York production company Big Media TV to co-produce a television series based on the first season of the podcast.
Dallas-based Podcast Ad Reps was launched in December 2018 by Selah and Anthony Savelli. It sells ad inventory for podcast networks, including BlueWire, Ricochet, Starburns Audio, Studio 71, Voice America and Compass Media Networks as well as independent podcasts like Afford Anything, Almost 30 and Total Soccer Show.
Looking ahead, Selah said PAR’s goal for 2021 is to debut four to six additional PAR Originals.