This Era of Reply All Has Ended

Photo: Gimlet

Update, June 23: Well, the day has come — Emmanuel Dzotsi and Alex Goldman’s final episode of Reply All dropped this morning.

“We’re leaving the so-called field for the last time,” Dzotsi said at the end of the episode. “There will be no new performances. Very soon, this show will be a place I used to work.”

While Dzotsi and Goldman are gone, we’re told that the show is not canceled and may be revived in some form down the road.

Original story follows.

Reply All as we know it is coming to an end.

The Verge reported on an internal Spotify memo that was distributed Wednesday morning announcing that hosts Alex Goldman and Emmanuel Dzotsi will be leaving the show “to explore opportunities outside of Gimlet” later this summer. A spokesperson for Spotify told Vulture that, beyond Dzotsi and Goldman, the rest of the Reply All team will remain on staff, where they will be given the room to figure out next steps within the Gimlet division. This news comes, of course, about a year after the “Test Kitchen” brouhaha, a highly public reckoning that ultimately led to the departures of founding co-host P. J. Vogt and original team member Sruthi Pinnamaneni.

What comes next for Goldman and Dzotsi is unclear at the moment — though, based on Goldman’s Twitter account, it seems the former is likely to push harder into his burgeoning music career under the moniker Slow Fawns. Also unclear is whether this definitively spells the end of Reply All as a podcast. The internal Spotify memo seems to leave open the door for possible future refashioning. “The decision to end this iteration of the show came from a desire of the host team to move on,” it read. “And we hope that there is a future where a show about the internet that isn’t actually about the internet can be reborn in Gimlet’s library.”

That said, we do know that the original Reply All — responsible for gems such as “The Case of the Missing Hit,” “Long Distance,” “The Crime Machine,” “The Skip Tracer,” “Zardulu,” and “The Real Enemy,” among countless others — is coming to a close almost eight years after launching. Which is a shame given the show’s historical greatness, but for some fans, listeners, and observers (like myself), this development might not be particularly surprising. After the “Test Kitchen” incident, the show went on a brief hiatus, and when it returned a few months later, it seemed to struggle to find a rhythm. New releases were sporadic through the rest of the year, and what episodes were produced tended to feel … a little off. The show took another short break in January to build out a new season, returning with a fresh batch of episodes in March. In hindsight, it was a formidable effort to get back to business as usual, but as this week’s announcement illustrates, perhaps too much had changed in the interim.

And there has been a lot of change indeed: Gimlet managing director Lydia Polgreen is leaving the company, as is Gimlet co-founder Matt Lieber. In fact, the entire Spotify podcast operation seems to have undergone a dramatic transformation and reorganization. Vogt is now independently publishing a new show, Crypto Island, where he carries much of the energy that used to drive Reply All. Meanwhile, the podcast world is bigger and denser and more consolidated than ever. For a team in Reply All’s position, I imagine it was time for a fresh start. And now they’ll get it.

The final episode of the Goldman-Dzotsi era will be released June 23.

This Era of Reply All Has Ended