About This List
These podcasts aren't part of any particular genre, although they are all primarily nonfiction. (A few of these podcasts occasionally broadcast fiction pieces as part of a mix of content). What they have in common is a strong host personality that infuses the podcast, and use of audio as an art form to tell stories.
I wish I had a name for this "genre."
I have a sense that there's a lineage here where these great creators influenced each other, so I'm organizing this list in chronological order by the date each show started. In some cases, I'm aware that the podcast creator started doing the thing they do either on a different show, or on radio, and where possible I've used the date each creator started doing what they do.
I am deliberately excluding "Serial"-style shows-- shows where each season tells a story in many episodes-- though I love many of those shows also and they certainly have a place in the overall chronology of the medium.