CNN launches podcast ‘Suddenly Family’


    CNN Philippines launches first-ever podcast, “Suddenly Family” an original series exploring shocking DNA results, hosted by award-winning international journalist Samuel Burke.

    Inspired by three astonishing DNA results in his own life, Burke masterfully draws on his own experiences as he unravels the mysteries of over a dozen families around the world whose lives are unexpectedly turned upside down by DNA testing.

    In 2019, Burke gifted his father a DNA test, only to discover they’re not related to the Burke family and that his small Jewish family is actually part of a large Mormon family. As he delved deeper into his family roots, Burke also learned his mother had a sister whom she had no knowledge of. And, astonishingly, Burke found out that a cousin who his family believed had died of AIDS, is actually alive.

    “As a journalist, I’ve always lived to ask meaningful questions,” Burke says, “but I never dreamed I’d have to ask questions this intimate to my own family and to perfect strangers who have allowed me into the most earth-shattering moments of their lives.”

    The inaugural episode aired on February 19 on all podcast platforms of CNN Philippines: Spotify, Apple, Google and YouTube. New episodes will be available every week, for free through 2021.

    For decades, DNA kits were used by the medical and legal communities to trace paternity, better understand genetic diseases, and as evidence in crime scenes. Now, the sky-rocketing popularity of these at-home kits is exposing ancestry and genealogy secrets for families across North America and Europe while it’s just begun to take off in Asia.

    Stunningly, 27% of mail-in DNA testing say they learned about close relatives they didn’t know about previously (Pew Research).

    Here are the episodes:

    “The Girl Next Door” is about a woman who feels out of place in her own family.

    “Filipino Family Bombshell” is about a man from Alabama holds the fate of a man from the Philippines in his hands.

    “A Gay Man’s Shocking DNA Surprise” is about Wolf Martinez getting an astonishing DNA result.

    “Small Jewish Family Makes Big Mormon Discovery” has Samuel Burke finding out he’s not related to his very own Burke family.

    “A Deceased Man’s DNA Account” is about a DNA result from beyond the grave that holds the secret of a lifetime for two women who’ve never met.

    “Christmas Murder Mystery” is about a young man’s DNA result which holds the key to unlocking a 75-year-old Christmas murder mystery.

    “The Woman With Six Parents” tells the incredible adoption story of Natasha Avery.

    “Can Sisters Weather a DNA Storm?” tells the shocking genealogy result that engulfs the relationship of two sisters.

    “Dead to Me” shows how the deaths of a baby girl and her mother shed light on America’s horrific “Baby Scoop Era.”

    “My Dead Cousin” has Samuel Burke discovering more dark family secrets while searching for answers to the disappearance of his missing loved one.

    Burke is a three-time Emmy award-winning journalist, who’s anchored, reported and produced at CNN, CNN en español, CNN Philippines and ABC. Born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, he studied in Guadalajara, Mexico and earned a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the Walter Cronkite School.