Dear Media To Release First True Crime Podcast Series Investigating Coco Berthmann’s History of Fraud
Dear Media, the powerhouse podcast network and brand incubator best known for turning ideas into binge-worthy podcasts that become coveted brands, today announced its first-ever true-crime docuseries podcast, Unt. Coco Berthmann Project. Hosted by Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist Sara Ganim and senior produced by Edward R. Murrow Award-winning reporter Karen Given, the acclaimed duo will examine the life and lies of Coco Berthmann leading to her impending trial on charges she lied about having cancer and defrauded her followers. Aceel Kibbi will be managing producer on behalf of Dear Media. The docuseries is slated to launch in early 2023.
In 2021, Coco spoke publicly about surviving as a victim of sex trafficking, but was arrested in February 2022 for felony communications fraud and raising funds for a fake cancer diagnosis. Exploring the influencer’s dark past, the six-episode series will delve into Coco’s complicated string of lies to uncover how much of her life was fabricated in her attempt to gain notoriety.
“Dear Media’s mission is to provide engaging and thought-provoking dialogue,” said Michael Bosstick, Founder and CEO of Dear Media. “As podcasters who interviewed Coco and spotlighted her life experience with sex trafficking, we knew that we owed it to our listeners to set the record straight."
Sara Ganim led the investigative team that broke several high-profile stories including the national sex abuse scandal surrounding former Penn State Assistant Coach Jerry Sandusky, winning a Pullitzer Prize for her explosive reporting.
“This story got a lot of sensational attention, but I’ve made my career about telling more nuanced and thoughtful stories. That’s been Dear Media’s vision for this project from the start, which is why I am excited to work with them,” said Ganim. “There are a lot of complexities to stories about people and trauma and while Coco’s story may be not be what people originally thought it was, it’s still a story that deserves thoughtful conversation about societal failures, not a quick, sensational headline grabber.”
Teaming up with unrivaled audio journalist Karen Given ensures that no stone will be left unturned as they peel back the layers of Coco’s narrative and make it accessible to Dear Media listeners.
After having Coco appear on their podcast, ‘The Skinny Confidential: HIM & HER’, executive producers Michael and Lauryn Bosstick realized there was much more to the mystery and scandal that linger in Coco’s shadows. The series is dedicated to uncovering the truth about who Coco Berthmann really is.
“As a reporter, I tell stories that are relevant, informative, challenging, thoughtful and inspiring,” said Given. “I’m excited to work with Dear Media again to uncover the truth of Coco’s story and examine how her arrest has impacted those fighting against child sex trafficking.”
Since launching in 2018, Dear Media has been home to standout podcasts such as ‘Not Skinny But Not Fat’, ‘Dear Gabby’ with Gabby Bernstein, ‘With Whit’ with Whitney Port, and ‘Summer of Gold’ in partnership with TOGETHXR, among many others. In February, Dear Media, which is currently home to over 80 shows, came out with its first original scripted fiction series, Bone, Marry, Bury, a campy whodunnit starring Sarah Hyland and Harvey Guillén and will be launching ‘I Am America,’ a docuseries in partnership with Tracee Ellis Ross early next year. The network has built a robust platform for amplifying women’s voices with original, creative programming.
About Dear Media
Founded in 2018, DM hosts over 80 podcasts fronted by top-tier talent and has more than 100 million followers across its social channels. DM is building the podcast network of the future through a 360-degree business model, providing unparalleled support from concept to editorial, production, distribution, and commerce extensions. Due to its highly engaged and vast consumer audience, the network attracts global brands and digital savvy partners.
About Sara Ganim:
Sara Ganim is a Pulitzer prize-winning journalist and former CNN investigative correspondent. A multi-platform reporter, Ganim has written for newspapers, wire services, cable television, radio, podcasts, and documentaries and has won several of the industry’s top awards.
At age 24, she won a Pulitzer Prize for breaking and covering the investigation into former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky’s sexual abuse of young boys. Ganim then spent seven years at CNN, covering multiple beats, including federal government agencies, the rise of the anti-fascist movement in the U.S., the NCAA, and contaminated American drinking water. In 2015, she won a Sigma Delta Chi award from the Society of Professional Journalists for her investigative report exposing the low reading levels of some college athletes.
In 2020, she made her first independent film, No Defense, which garnered film festival recognition. She has consulted or reported for several other films, including the Emmy-nominated films, Deadly Haze and Paterno. In 2021, she launched a podcast with Meadowlark Media called The Mayor of Maple Avenue, about the intersection of trauma and addiction and societal failures in the wake of the #meToo movement. The podcast had more than 1.2 million downloads. She is also the host of the award-winning podcast Why Don’t We Know, which explores government secrecy.
Other recognitions include the 2020 Education Writers Association public service award, 2012 National Sexual Violence Resource Center Visionary Voice Award, 2011 George Polk award, the 2011 Scripps-Howard award, a 2010 Golden Quill and the 2010 Bar Association journalism award, 2008 Gannet Media Foundation multimedia award.
About Karen Given:
Karen Given is an experienced audio journalist, specializing in narrative storytelling. A veteran of public radio, Karen is the former executive producer and host of NPR’s Only A Game. She won a national Edward R. Murrow award twice -- in 2007 and 2017. Since leaving public radio, Given has focused on the podcast space, most notably working on Summer of Gold, a six-part narrative series from Dear Media and TOGETHXR about “girl power” and the 1996 Olympics, which was nominated for an iHeartRadio Podcast Award, The Long Game, a podcast about sports and social activism from Foreign Policy and Doha Debates, and Open and Shut, a seven- part narrative series from Wisconsin Watch and Wisconsin Public Radio about the power of the American prosecutor.
This is a press release from LaRue PR which we link to from Podnews, our daily newsletter about podcasting and on-demand. This is reprinted verbatim; we may rewrite headlines and descriptions.