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From the 15th Annual Shorty Awards

Mobituaries - CBS News & iHeartRadio

Winner in Other Podcast Genres


The podcast Mobituaries aims to highlight the dearly departed who may not have gotten the spotlight they deserved while they were alive. Whether they are historical figures, animal performers, or even extinct fruit species, host Mo Rocca aims to create fresh takes on their legacies and uncover their overdue moments in the spotlight. 

Strategy and Execution

A primary goal of the show is to push audiences to think more critically about who gets remembered and why. Mo Rocca inherited a love for obituaries from his father, always felt that not every notable life has gotten the send-off it deserves, which was the driving factor that led him to create Mobituaries. 

An equally, if not more important, goal is to ensure that all the people and things covered on Mobituaries are portrayed accurately and unbiasedly in every episode. Part of this was a commitment to diversity in sources and subject matter. The team took on deep and rigorous research practices to deliver on this promise to their audience. 

Aside from fact-checking and rigorous research, a key challenge for Mobituaries was to bring to life the sometimes mundane details of a person’s life in a compelling, relatable and personal way to bring audiences closer to understanding them. Mobituaries faced this challenge by featuring compelling guests and experts to help revive, animate and honor the featured subjects. 


Audiences embraced Rocca’s challenge to think more critically about who gets remembered and why. The Mobituaries way of memorializing the remarkable lives of leaders, innovators, and other notable people from the start of season 1 in January 2019. Affinity for the show continued to grow as average downloads per episode more than doubled (500K+ downloads/episode) when the show returned for a second season in November of that same year. 

The podcast was also a finalist in the 2020 iHeartRadio Awards for Best History Podcast and Rocca was nominated for Best Host in the 2021 Podcast Academy Awards. 

Additionally, Rocca also took the podcast to a wider audience with the release of Mobituaries the book featuring even more insightful and unconventional accounts of the people who made life worth living for the rest of us. 

Rocca shared a few key things he’s learned along the way from producing the show including the importance of making himself myself vulnerable, by not editing out all the stumbles or rough edges in interviews. That everything doesn’t have to be perfect because that’s not how people are. 

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