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Jennifer and Ryan Ozawa at the 2011 Na Hoku Hano Hano Awards. Photo by Blaine Fergerstrom

Hawaii media power-couple launches new ‘Popspotting’ podcast

HONOLULU — The Hawaii-based husband and wife duo behind one of the world’s most successful blogs and podcasts devoted to the TV show Lost has launched a new daily pop culture show.

Ryan and Jen Ozawa, hosts of “The Transmission,” launched “Popspotting” on May 23, exactly one year after Lost left the airwaves. But instead of devoting over an hour of conversation a week to a single show, “Popspotting” serves up a bite-sized chat every weekday, and covers movies, television, music, books, and much more.

“Popspotting” also adds guests into the mix, with regular trivia challenges and special interviews planned.

“In a way we’re going back to our roots, as our very first podcast as a couple back in 2005 was to show off Jen’s pop culture prowess,” Ryan says. “After being so focused on one thing, we’re enjoying the freedom to talk about everything.”

Reaching over 20,000 weekly listeners at its peak, “The Transmission” earned the couple a feature in the New York Times, and interviews and mentions from media as diverse as the Wall Street Journal, NPR, and Nightline.

Yet Ryan and Jen took a break from podcasting in 2006 when their show, having climbed as high as #7 among all podcasts in iTunes, grew too big to handle. Wired magazine described it as a high-profile case of “podfading.”

“That won’t happen again—the successful part, I mean,” Ryan jokes. “Thankfully we made it back for the last two years of ‘LOST,’ and with ‘Popspotting,’ we are definitely going to be a little more loose and casual.”

The shift to a daily show is a big one, as “The Transmission” was known for its strictly structured, multi-segment weekly episodes that could sometimes run over 90 minutes long. And the current format—movies on Monday, TV on Tuesday, “Wildcard Wednesday,” guests and trivia on Thursday and listener feedback on Friday—is still described as an experiment.

“We are still getting a feel for what fits, as some listeners want more, while others want less,” Ryan says. “But as a podcast listener, I find I prefer short daily shows that I can mix and match, and am finding I sometimes never get through two-hour talkfests.”

Recent Popspotting shows have covered Super 8, X-Men: First Class, the CBS reboot of Hawaii Five-0, new releases from the Foo Fighters and Lady Gaga, and bestselling books from Chelsea Handler, Jonathan Safran Foer, and Suzanne Collins. In its first week, “Popspotting” climbed as high as #5 among “TV & Film” audio podcasts in iTunes.

To subscribe to “Popspotting,” look for the show on iTunes, or visit Popspotting.net. The show is also on Facebook and Twitter (http://twitter.com/popspotting).

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