Here is an amazing collection of podcasts to BLOW.YOUR.MIND. Seriously.
More than simple background listening, this is the kind of rich storytelling that requires 100% of your attention; that revives the appeal of radio.

Two key elements to a great podcast:

• Masterful storytelling

This American Life has some of the best reporting/storytelling there is, and have many ground breaking stories.
How Sound is about the art of storytelling itself, even critiquing clips from other shows.

• Captivating audio engineering

Radiolab paves the way in this respect. Good modern radio owes much to the innovations pioneered by Radiolab host Jad Abumrad.


Freakonomics: The Hidden Side of Everything

Stephen J. Dubner & Steven D. Levitt

99% Invisible: A Tiny Radio Show About Design

Roman Mars

Radiolab: Science, Philosophy, and Human Experience

Jad Abumrad & Robert Krulwich

How Sound: The Backstory to Great Radio Storytelling

Rob Rosenthal

This American Life: Funny. Dramatic. Surprising. True.

Ira Glass