Luminary and Roxane Gay Announce The Roxane Gay Agenda



Luminary, the subscription podcast network, and writer Dr. Roxane Gay announced the launch of The Roxane Gay Agenda. Premiering on Luminary on January 25 in partnership with iHeartMedia, The Roxane Gay Agenda is the bad feminist podcast of your dreams – compelling conversations curated in the way only Roxane Gay can. Gay offers uncommonly incisive reads of the politics that shape the world we live in and the popular culture we consume.

Two episodes of The Roxane Gay Agenda will debut on Tuesday, January 25 – the first episode will be available widely on Luminary, iHeartRadio, and everywhere podcasts are heard, and the second episode will be exclusive and ad-free for one week on Luminary before releasing widely on February 1. Going forward, episodes of The Roxane Gay Agenda will be released on Tuesdays exclusive and ad-free to subscribers on the Luminary app or the Luminary channel on Apple Podcasts for one week, after which they will be distributed through the iHeartPodcast Network and will be available on iHeartRadio and all major podcast platforms.

The Roxane Gay Agenda, produced by Gay along with Curtis Fox, continues Gay’s collaboration with Luminary, where she previously hosted the award-winning and beloved Hear to Slay with Tressie McMilan Cottom, for which the duo was named Adweek’s Host of the Year.

Dr. Roxane Gay’s writing appears in Best American Mystery Stories 2014, Best American Short Stories 2012, Best Sex Writing 2012, A Public Space, McSweeney’s, Tin House, Oxford American, American Short Fiction, Virginia Quarterly Review, and many others. She is a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times. She is the author of the books Ayiti, An Untamed State, the New York Times bestselling Bad Feminist, the nationally best selling Difficult Women and the New York Times bestselling Hunger. She is also the author of World of Wakanda for Marvel. She has several books forthcoming and is also at work on television and film projects.

Curtis Fox is a veteran podcast producer with deep roots in public radio. The current story editor for Radiotopia’s Ear Hustle, Curtis has produced everything from radio drama and comedy to personal essays and documentaries. His radio pieces have aired on WNYC, NPR, Studio 360 and other outlets. He originated four podcasts for The New Yorker, including The New Yorker Fiction Podcasts, and produced podcasts for Esquire Magazine, Parents Magazine, the ACLU, WNYC and others. For The Poetry Foundation he produces The Poetry Magazine Podcast and Poetry Off the Shelf, which he hosts. Curtis loves helping to shape new shows.


Podcast Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony 2022



The 2022 Podcast Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place on March 25, 2022, in Los Angeles, California. The 2022 inductees have not yet been announced.

The host of the 2022 Podcast Hall of Fame is Damona Hoffman, a dating coach and on-air personality who starred in two A+E Networks’ TV series #BlackLove and A Question of Love. She’s a regular contributor to The LA Times, The Washington Post, The Drew Barrymore Show, NPR, CNN Headline News (HLN), BET, and more. Plus, she is the OKCupid Official Dating Expert.

Damona’s weekly podcast Dates & Mates consistently charts in the top 50 in the Dating and Relationships category. She is also the host and producer of Freshbooks’ I Make A Living Podcast, which features her advice for new entrepreneurs and interviews with expert entrepreneurs.

The 2022 Podcast Hall of Fame Awards will take place on March 25, 6pm PT. It can be attended in two ways: in person, or virtually.

The in person event is open to the public, and free to attend. You’re invited to support your favorite inductee(s)! The ceremony takes place at the JW Marriott in Downtown Los Angeles, as part of Podcast Movement: Evolutions. Those who attend in person can book a room at the JW Marriott @ L.A. Live. Enjoy the on-site parties, local attractions, or fun that Downtown Los Angeles has to offer.

The Virtual event will enable you to see the entire ceremony that will be live streamed to the world, so no matter where you’re at, you can take part in the special evening for your favorite inductee(s). Keep an eye on the Podcast Hall of Fame website for more information on joining them virtually this March.

Visit the Podcast Hall of Fame website to find out who the inductees will be when they are revealed.


Acast Appoints Patrick Butkus as VP Marketing



Acast, the world’s leading independent podcast company, has announced the appointment of Patrick Butkus as Vice President, Marketing. The newly created role will see Butkus spearheading global marketing efforts from the company’s office in New York City, and underlines Acast’s ambitious growth strategy for 2022 in the US and beyond.

Butkus, most recently the Director of Acquisition Marketing at Discovery streaming products discovery+ and GOLFTV, will be responsible for building and enhancing recognition of the Acast brand, products and services globally.

With previous experience including various marketing roles at ESPN and Nestlé, Butkus is another senior hire for Acast based in the US – following recently announced appointments of Veronika Taylor as SVP of Acast’s Creator Network and Georgina Holt as Managing Director for the Americas – as the company becomes more internationally focused.

Lizzy Pollot, Acast’s SVP Marketing Communications and Brand, said: “Pat is a really important addition to our growing global marketing team, and will allow us to get the Acast brand in front of thousands more creators, listeners and brands, all around the world.

“It’s testament to our strong growth in the US that we’re able to attract people as talented as Pat, and his years of experience with top media and entertainment brands will be hugely valuable for the whole team – helping us supercharge our efforts in 2022 and beyond.”

Butkus added: “The name ‘Acast’ is one I’ve heard more and more over the past couple of years, and it’s easy to see why its become such a high-profile player in the creator economy – this is an innovative, ambitious podcast company with the leadership and vision in place to become the world leader. I’m looking forward to playing my part in making that happen.”


Coleman Insights Announces Leadership Team Promotions



Coleman Insights announced that four members of the media research firm’s leadership team have been promoted effective immediately.

Eileen Genna is promoted to Senior Vice President, Business Operations; David Baird is promoted to Senior Vice President, Research Operations; Jay Nachlis is promoted to Vice President/Consultant & Marketing Director; and Meghan Campbell is promoted to Vice President/Consultant & Director, Qualitative Services.

According to Coleman Insights President Warren Kurtzman, the promotions represent an investment in the company’s long-term health and its commitment to customer success. “Beyond the insights we deliver to our clients, I’m most proud of how we’ve built an incredible leadership team at Coleman Insights,” said Kurtzman. “Eileen and David’s promotions are a recognition of the enormous multi-decade contributions they have made to our success. In a shorter amount of time, Jay and Meghan have also had a tremendous impact for us and our clients, and I expect even bigger things from them with their new responsibilities.”

Genna will continue to oversee the company’s business operations, including finance, human resources, facilities and information technology, while Baird will continue to head the company’s research operations, including study design, fielding strategy, quality control, data analysis, and software development. In their new positions, Nachlis and Campbell will take on more “point person” roles on client projects. Nachlis will continue to lead Coleman Insights’ marketing efforts, while Campbell will continue to direct the company’s qualitative services, including the CampfireSM Online Discussion Groups service it launched in 2021.


On Air Fest Returns February 22-26



Exploring storytelling and creativity in sound, the next installation of On Air Fest will be presented in person on February 24-26, 2022 at Wythe Hotel (80 Wythe Ave at N. 11th Street, Brooklyn). The event will comply with all local, state and federal recommendations and protocols.

The annual gathering – often described as the “Sundance of Audio” – brings together creators and industry notables from audio and podcasting for two days of live storytelling, intimate conversations, performances, art exhibitions, listening parties, and more. The festival will unfold in a range of spaces in the Wythe Hotel including its main hall, screening room, performance suites, restaurants and bars.

On Air Fest https://podnews.net/press-release/on-air-fest-feb24 is the brainchild of work x work, a storytelling and branding agency composed of audio creators in their own right. Now in its sixth year, the festival continues to carve out a place for artists and storytellers who are defining this moment in audio, as well a the curious listeners who enthusiastically engage with the content. This 2022 incarnation will feature many of the biggest names in audio and podcasting including Design Matters’ Debbie Millman, Everything is Alive’s Ian Chillag, For Colored Nerds’ Eric Eddings, Object of Sound’s Hanif Abdurraqib, Hot Pod’s Ashley Carman, and the talent behind The Moth, Dustlight Productions, Cultured Mag, Talkhouse, and more.

In addition, Radiolab’s Jad Abumrad will receive the prestigious On Air Fest 2022 Audio Vanguard Award, the annual award highlighting an individual who has fostered a creative legacy in audio storytelling. Joining ranks of previous Audio Vanguard Awards honorees, Terry Gross (2021) and Ira Glass (2022), Abumrad is lauded for his innovative work as co-founder of the beloved radio program, which marks its 20th anniversary in 2022.

“On Air Fest has grown into an inspiring event for anyone interested in the culture of sound – thanks to an incredible mix of industry folks, fans, and creators who participate, as well as the high energy exchange of ideas generated,” says Scott Newman, founder and creative director of work x work, the agency presenting On Air Fest. “Things that happen here win awards, spark conversations, and continue to reverberate throughout the year. We’re excited to see what emerges from this year’s festival.”

“Our approach is to seek out experimental, innovative, and distinctive voices” says Jemma Rose Brown, Director of Programming at work x work. “We don’t believe in there being a ‘best’ podcast, instead we’re always curious about meeting and showcasing creators who are bringing unique contributions to the medium.”

Event Details:

Where: Wythe Hotel (80 Wythe Ave. at 11th Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn)

When: February 24-26, 2022

Tickets: $149 day pass (Friday or Saturday). $249 two day pass. $499 VIP pass. Full schedule/additional information here. http://www.onairfest.com/

2022 Presenting Sponsors include: Audible, Spotify & Stitcher.

Program Partners include: WYNC Studios, Raidiotopia, Sonos, BAM, The Moth, Cultured, Audible, Talkhouse, Dustlight Productions, Hot Pod, The Verge, and Vox Media Podcast Network.

All programming will be presented live at Wythe Hotel, the Brooklyn-based boutique hotel known for its commitment to culture, food, and community.


Netflix Launches The Gay Agenda, an Original Podcast Celebrating Queer Joy



Netflix has launched its first LGBTQ+ podcast, The Gay Agenda, produced by MOST, the home of LGBTQ+ storytelling. The new podcast takes an entertaining and honest look into the lives of LGBTQ+ creatives at the top of their fields across different industries and celebrates their success stories in the community through a loving and humorous lens. The Gay Agenda will launch on January 10, 2022.

The podcast is created and produced by lesbian actress, singer/songwriter and podcaster Jasmin Savoy Brown (she/her), (The Leftovers, Yellowjackets, new Scream reboot), who is also currently recording her fist EP. She co-hosts the show with producer and nonbinary actor, comic and playwright Liv Hewson (they/them, Santa Clarita Diet, Yellowjackets, Let it Snow, Bombshell). On the show, Brown and Hewson interview queer trailblazers in the community and explore the wonderful, funny (and sometimes ridiculous) parts of the LGBTQ+ experience. The show is also produced by Multitude, a podcast production company in Brooklyn.

Gabrielle Korn (she/her), Netflix Editorial & Publishing Manager for MOST said, “With our first foray into the podcast space, MOST is entering a new era — one where the gay agenda continues to expand into all corners of our audience’s lives, making it easier and more fun than ever to discover Netflix’s LGBTQ+ talent, titles, and storytelling. I love this podcast so much; it’s truly a joy to listen to, and I hope it brings that same joy to our followers.

Savoy said, “I’m proud of The Gay Agenda. It’s joyful, it’s inquisitive, it’s welcoming. I think it’s a real reflection of the LGBTQ+ community and I hope our listeners feel the same. Interviewing guests this season made me a better person. Hearing people’s unique stories and perspectives on life and happiness was a learning experience and I don’t take that for granted.”

Hewson added, “The first item on The Gay Agenda is, of course, for our guests to have fun and be themselves. There’s room for all of it, for connection and healing and irreverence and silliness. It’s serious and it isn’t. We contain multitudes! Part of the impetus behind this podcast was creating a space to talk about being LGBTQ in entertainment that centered on something other than pain. The pain is there of course, but the joy is too! We want to live in joy.”

The inaugural season has 45-minute episodes released consecutively over eight weeks. The first episode, launching January 10, kicks off with co-hosts Brown and Hewson expressing the importance of celebrating queer joy and welcome nonbinary actor Ben Taylor-Klaus (they/them), who proudly and humorously identifies as a “problem”. The candid episode dives into their love of Shakespeare and Tegan and Sara, softball and growing queer and Jewish in the South. Regarding coming out to themself, Taylor-Klaus declares on the show, “Let’s stop sitting in a little box that feels comfortable… stick m hand out and make sure the sun’s not going to melt me.”

Episode 2, launches on January 17 with director, writer, actor, actor Natalie Morales (she/they, Director of Language Lessons), who waxes nostalgically about the various queer characters have portrayed including an asexual axolotl on BoJack Horseman, their mother’s deep friendships with gay men, along with a spirited bonus rapid-fire game of Gender This!

Additional guests with more humorous personal revelations, life stories and how they will further the gay agenda this season includes actor Ally Beardsley (they/them), actor Java Leslie (she/her), comedian Caleb Hearon (he/him), author Carmen Maria Machado (she/her), actor Leo Sheng (he/him), and writer/comedian/actor Fortune Feimster (she/her).


Storyboard Announces Over 3,000 Podcasts have Launched Private Podcast Channels



Storyboard, a best-in-class audio platform where companies can release private podcasts to their internal audiences, announced that over 3,000 organizations have now launched podcast channels on the platform. With Storyboard, creators can build their own groups of listeners, such as employees or teams at their company. These selected listeners can access the creator’s private podcast channels after logging in from Storyboard’s website and mobile apps.

“This is a massive milestone for our creators,” says JP Gooderham, CEO of Storyboard. “Storyboard podcasters have used our platform for so many creative ideas, including training a a sales team that is constantly on the road, visiting clients, a CEO connecting with their company through a virtual town hall that someone can listen to in any time zone, or a family recording their stories and sharing across the country.”

Storyboard’s suite of apps allows access across all devices, including iPhone, iPad, Android, and the web. Creators can either record and upload their content, or use Storyboard’s tools, like in-app recording, to share their audio.

“Audio in the workplace is really taking hold, especially as so many companies explore remote or hybrid strategies,” Gooderham said. “Many of the most innovative companies are thinking about how to get key messages across time zones and working from home. Audio absolutely should be a key part of that toolbox.

“The 3,000 creator channels include Storyboard’s Enterprise customers who use the platform’s secure features – like Single Sign-On (SSO) – to enable podcasting to be used as a workplace communication channel. It also includes Storyboard Free, which allows creators to create channels at no cost for up to 50 listeners, including small teams and hobby-focused podcasts.


HT Media Ltd. Launches First Programmatic Podcast Marketplace with AdsWizz



HT Media Ltd. has partnered with AdsWizz to create India’s first programmatic podcast marketplace. This strategic relationship enables brands to access millions of listeners in India with real-time buying and selling of podcast advertising. Named “FabX”, this is the newest addition to HT media’s vast offering.

Podcast advertising is still at a nascent stage in India. Among the choices one has in podcasting, sponsored episodes and branded content are the obvious options available to both publisher and advertiser, with Programmatic as a new avenue it is is a win-win situation for the podcast industry in India. In a market that is fragmented with Subscription-based models and independent content selling, this move sets itself as a sure way of providing access to monetization avenues.

“Our partnership with Hindustan Times highlights the growing opportunities in this market,” says Patrick Roger, VP of New Markets, AdsWizz. “Our technology combines the power of programmatic advertising with the power of podcasts, enabling advertisers’ easy access to a highly engaged audience. Additionally, with our AI Transcription Technology, advertisers can ensure brand safety by only serving ads to podcast shows our episodes that have specific topics as a central theme.”

This relationship will automate real-time buying, targeting, optimization, and reporting of podcast ad inventory. Advertisers will always be able to choose their geography, time, and demographics as the content increases. What is more exciting is the fact that one of the biggest reasons why podcasts are making their space into the heart of the Indians is because the content is present in numerous languages. Local advertising too can be enabled via this platform.

It is estimated that the number of listeners will rise to 170.6 million by 2023, and India’s music, radio and podcast market will double itself by 2023. The advent of programmatic advertising in podcasts opens doors to more brand communications spend towards the format as the audience grows.

“It is an exciting time for us and a proud moment, to make advertisers experience the power of an immersive medium like Podcasts.” says Ramesh Menon, CEO, Fever Network and Next Radio Ltd.

“HT Smartcast is paving the way for advertisers to have higher efficiency and greater impact for their advertising bucks through Programmatic audio advertising that will be time-saving, targeted and data/analysis friendly and performance-oriented. Our focus now is to quickly scale this for the benefit of podcasters and advertisers alike and help them take advantage of a marketplace on increasing the volume of new and engaging content and exploring the full potential of audio.”

Indian Podcasts are available in Hindi, English, Telugu, Tamil, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, and other vernacular languages. This diversity increases engagement and promotes a larger attention span in podcasts. This learning is not only beneficial for advertisers, but for podcasters in India who are looking to create monetizable content.

HT Media plans to be for podcasters, what YouTube is to creators. It believes that there is a podcaster hidden in every Indian who has a story to tell. It is enabling then with their podcast content-generating company HT Smartcast and partner companies like HubHopper. By the virtue of its legacy is enabling another medium of sharing voice.


The Young Audio Awards Partner with YoungMinds to Launch New Category



The Young Audio Awards, the national awards for 8-18-year-olds with a passion for creating audio, are back for another year and are open for entries. The awards give recognition to young people with a talent for producing audio content and are supported by both BBC and commercial radio. Winners are offered a chance to host their own show on a national radio station, along with mentorship, masterclass events, and state-of-the-art audio recording equipment.

Following a rollercoaster two years, it is apt that the new category My Year in Audio has been created with mental health support charity for young people YoungMinds, where under 18s across the UK are being asked to use phones, tablets, or microphones to record their thoughts about the last two years. The aim is to encourage people to talk about their feelings and emotions during this stressful time. Entries could be about the things that have helped young people to cope in challenging times, advice for others or lessons learnt during the pandemic. The audio entry could be in the form of a podcast or radio show, an interview, a piece of poetry or more. Audio can be used in any form, as long as it shows creativity, honesty an expression.

Teachers and schools will have access to a free assembly video featuring some of radio’s biggest stars explaining everything about the awards and how to enter, along with classroom resources to help students record their audio entries at school. These can be downloaded at YoungAudioAwards.co.uk from the first week of January.

Other categories include BBC Sounds Rising Talent Award, Arquiva Award for Technical Excellence, Achievement within the Community, School Radio Station of the Year, Most Innovative Team – Sponsored by Broadcast Bionics and Best Podcast with Cast. Last year’s Young Audio Awards ceremony was watched by over 4,000 people live on YouTube, featuring stars including Greg James, Clara Amfo, Fleur East and Rylan. Past winners have been given a link to the audio sector, with prizes like shows on national radio station Fun Kids, masterclass events with radio presenters and producers, new recording equipment and being invited to an event at parliament.

The award are run by the industry body for commercial radio Radiocentre, with support from partners Acast, Arqiva, BBC Sounds, Broadcast Bionics, Fun Kids, KISS and BBC Young Reporter. The 2021 Young Audio Awards will be supported with a national radio campaign, live social media masterclass sessions from radio presenters and a comical launch video.

Radiocentre’s CEO Ian Moss said: “We’re excited to once again shine a spotlight on the next generation of audio talent and provide under 18s with a taste of our amazing industry. We also hope that by teaming up with the brilliant team at YoungMinds, young people across the UK can use the intimacy of audio to creatively express their thoughts and feelings, following a turbulent few years.”

Tom Madders, Director of Campaigns at mental health charity YoungMinds said: “We are delighted to be launching the ‘My Year in Audio’ with YoungMinds’ awards category this year to encourage young people to talk about how they got through the pandemic.

“Many people told us that they struggled in the past year as they lost their coping mechanisms, their daily routine and had to deal with social isolation and fear about the future. Sharing how you coped or giving advice to other young people is a really powerful reminder to anyone listening that you are not alone with your mental health and it’s okay to reach out for support if you need it.”

It’s free to enter the awards on their website. The entry process closes for entries in mid-February.