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Agent of Betrayal: The Double Life of Robert Hanssen

Finalist in Podcast Mini Series, True Crime & Documentary Podcast


“Agent of Betrayal: The Double Life of Robert Hanssen” marked Paramount Audio’s first foray into a limited series that was not attached to an existing TV franchise within Paramount Global. The goal was to establish Paramount Audio as a producer of standalone premium narrative audio storytelling built on deep investigative reporting and reach existing audiences across other CBS News platforms who have an affinity for true crime and news-driven programming.


CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent Major Garrett serving as host gave the podcast credibility from the start. Garrett is a deeply respected broadcast journalist who has covered political campaigns and government - but had not previously delved into the world of espionage. This gave Garrett and his team a fresh perspective on the Hanssen story and drove them to tell it like never before. They interviewed people who had not talked publicly about the case and uncovered once-secret government documents. A key piece of the strategy was reaching new listeners within podcast platforms and outside of listening channels. Through events and activations, strategic partnerships provided visibility for the podcast at The Atlantic Festival, International Spy Museum and SPYSCAPE HQ. Promos and feed drops on other CBS News podcasts were arranged and a dedicated landing page for the podcast was created on Paramount Global also raised awareness for the podcast through out-of-home advertising in high-traffic areas such as New York City’s Times Square. Anchors for CBS Mornings, Evening News, and CBS News Streaming promoted the podcast on their programs. Further tapping into the strength of Paramount Global platforms, Major completed an extensive affiliate tour with CBS TV and radio affiliates around the country and promoted the show on his CBS News show, “The Takeout.” Major and his team also used their widely-followed social media accounts to reach listeners with audiograms and custom content.


The multifaceted awareness campaign for “Agent of Betrayal: The Double Life of Robert Hanssen” paid off. The podcast hit #2 on the Apple Podcasts True Crime chart, #5 on the Apple Podcasts chart across All Podcasts, reached the top 15 True Crime podcast on Podtrac, and had an average consumption rate of 104 percent. The series captivated listeners as it reported new revelations about the Robert Hanssen story and discussions are underway about adapting the podcast for the screen. In addition to his in-network appearances on Paramount Global properties, Major appeared on podcasts such as “The Road to Now,” “What the Hack with Adam Levin,” “Keen On” and  “PRETEND.” The show was featured by The Hill, The Hollywood Reporter, Mediate and more.


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