Sarah Koenig is the host and co-creator of the award-winning podcast Serial, now heading into its fourth season. Launched in 2014, Serial is credited with bringing mainstream attention to the podcast format and has been downloaded more than 420 million times, making it the most listened-to podcast in the history of the form. Among other honors, Serial won the 2014 Peabody Award, the first time the award has been given to a podcast. In 2015 Koenig was named one of Time Magazine’s “The 100 Most Influential People.”
Sarah Koenig began her career as a newspaper reporter – her first reporting job was at her weekly hometown paper. She lived in Moscow, Russia for several years, where she worked for The New York Times, and once she returned, went to work for the Concord Monitor in New Hampshire. She did stints as a crime reporter and then as a political reporter – the same beats she’d go on to cover at the Baltimore Sun.
In 2004 Sarah Koenig became a producer at the radio show This American Life. She has guest-hosted This American Life several times, most memorably for the “No Coincidence, No Story” show; she has also produced and reported some of the show’s most popular episodes, including “Switched at Birth,” “Dr. Gilmer and Mr. Hyde” and “Habeas Schmabeas,” a Peabody Award-winning show about Guantanamo Bay.
In March 2017 Serial Productions released the Peabody Award-winning S-Town, a 7-part non-fiction podcast hosted by Brian Reed. In 2022 they released The Trojan Horse Affair, also hosted by Brian Reed. In July 2020, Serial Productions was purchased by the New York Times Company. Serial’s first podcast with the New York Times is Nice White Parents. The third season of Serial, which explored the Cleveland criminal court system, is set to be an HBO Limited Series with LeBron James as an executive producer. The 2021 season of Serial with the New York Times is The Improvement Association.
New York Times: Adnan Syed, Freed (2022)
Vulture: Serial Season 3 Is the Podcast’s Biggest Ever (2018)
Rolling Stone: How the ‘Serial’ Podcast Exposes Epic Dysfunction in Cleveland’s Criminal Justice System (2018)
UChicago News: Serial host Sarah Koenig inspires students during return to UChicago (2018)
Vulture: Serial Season 3 Is Ambitious, Addictive, and Completely Different (2018)
Elle: Sarah Koenig Explains Why Season 3 of Serial Will Be Different (2018)
Wired: The Creators of Serial Are Back With a Binge-Ready New Podcast (2017)
Daily Californian: ‘Serial’ creators speak at Zellerbach Hall (2016)
New York Times: ‘Serial’ Season 2 Focuses on Bowe Bergdahl’s Story (2015)
Time: 100 Most Influential People: Sarah Koenig (2015)
New Yorker: Sarah Koenig on “Serial,” and a Resilient Poet (2015) [audio]
Fresh Air: Serial Host Sarah Koenig Says She Set Out To Report, Not Exonerate (2014) [audio]
Colbert Report: Stephen Colbert names 'Serial's' Sarah Koenig his 'favorite guest of all time' (2014) [video]
Photo Sandy Honig