Creative Artists Agency (CAA) has signed audio-first British media platform Tortoise Media.
Tortoise Media, which focuses on “slow news,” was co-founded by James Harding, a former BBC News director and Times of London editor; Katie Vanneck-Smith, the former president of the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones; and Matthew Barzun, former U.S. Ambassador to the U.K.
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Tortoise is one of the U.K.’s fastest growing news organizations, with a membership community of more than 110,000 fans. Their podcast output includes a weekly show called “Slow Newscast,” which covers the week’s biggest stories and investigations, including the award-winning “My Mother’s Murderer,” “Hidden Homicides” and Harding’s “Editor’s Voicemail,” in which he discusses what’s on his mind.
Recently, their investigation into PornHub’s mysterious founder, Bernd Bergmair, saw them triumph as the first media outlet to track Bergmair to London, while their “Sensemaker Daily” focuses on a different short story every day that tries to make sense of the world.
They are also known for long form articles.
But it is Tortoise Media’s 110,000-strong community of members that are a “key component” for the company. Their members even participate in the company’s ThinkIn sessions: live, unscripted chats between editors, invited experts and members, which uncover and inform Tortoise’s stories.
The signing comes as part of CAA’s push to focus on podcasting. In March, the agency announced Josh Lindgren would take on the mantle of head of podcasts, having built up a roster of clients in the space including properties, creators and production companies. Among his other clients are iHeartRadio’s Stuff You Should Know, NPR correspondent Ari Shapiro and “Dr. Death” reporter Laura Beil.
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