City Cast

City Cast Expands Through Acquisition of Madison Minutes Newsletter

July 13, 2023

City Cast has acquired Madison Minutes, the hyperlocal newsletter startup in Madison, Wisconsin, with a loyal readership of 17,500-plus newsletter subscribers and more than 600 paying members. With the purchase of Madison Minutes, City Cast extends its network of local podcasts, newsletters, and websites to 11 U.S. cities.

For the past year, the podcast City Cast Madison has had a cross-promotional partnership with the email newsletter Madison Minutes. Today’s acquisition means the two entities have become a single local podcast/newsletter team focused on the news, culture, people, and events that matter in Madison today. The combined venture serves Madison with:

  • a free weekday morning podcast called City Cast Madison (available here and on all podcast platforms),
  • a free weekday morning email newsletter called Madison Minutes,
  • a website, and
  • a subscriber-only weekly newsletter highlighting Madison’s most interesting events.

“We’re thrilled to acquire such a delightful and beloved local newsletter. Madison Minutes and City Cast both care about making people feel more connected to their cities, and giving them the tools to be better citizens. By joining forces, we can do that even more effectively for Madison.” says David Plotz, CEO of City Cast. “We also can’t wait to learn from the Madison Minutes team about their successful membership program, which will help shape the membership program we build across the City Cast network.”

Madison Minutes founders Sam Hoisington and Hayley Sperling have joined the staff of City Cast. Sperling is now the Newsletter Editor for Madison, and continues to write Madison Minutes. She’ll work closely with the existing City Cast Madison podcast team: Lead Producer Molly Stentz, Host Bianca Martin, and Audio Producer Dylan Brogan,

Hoisington is the new Director of Membership for City Cast, where he will help the company build paid membership programs for its podcasts, newsletters, and websites in other cities.

“We’re beyond excited to join the City Cast team. This move will not only strengthen both of our editorial products but ensure Madison Minutes’ longevity in our community,” Sperling said.

“Everyone involved in Madison Minutes is going to be served by this move. In combining our local operations, we will be able to expand our reach and take advantage of City Cast’s in-house journalists, technologists, and advertising staff,” Hoisington said.

City Cast, which launched in 2021, is a national network of local podcasts, newsletters, and websites that make people feel more connected to the cities they love. City Cast operates in Boise, Chicago, Denver, DC, Houston, Las Vegas, Madison, Philly, Pittsburgh, Portland, and Salt Lake — with more cities coming soon. City Cast is owned by Arlington, Virginia-based Graham Holdings Co.