Slate and Forever Dog Ink Multiyear Strategic Agreement



Slate announced that it will exclusively represent Forever Dog, a popular podcast network that creates critically-acclaimed comedy and culture shows that champion diversity, individuality, and empowerment.

The multiyear strategic agreement between two of the largest, topically diverse networks in the industry will include all-go-to-market activity and the potential for future collaboration on new programming.

“We are thrilled to be working working with Forever Dog, a network that perfectly aligns with Slate’s voice and values,” said Charlie Krammerer, Slate’s President and CRO. “Like Slate’s, Forever Dog’s audience is smart, passionate and cares deeply about news and culture. And the network offers a robust inventory of engaging, hilarious and gutsy shows that we’re excited to take to market.”

“The Slate partnership is a dream come true,” said Joseph Ciiio, Forever Dog’s CEO and Co-Founder. “Not only are our companies aligned from a values perspective, but we are both passionate about creating top-notch shows that stand out in a saturated marketplace. Paring Slate’s indispensable journalism with Forever Dog’s fearless comedy, our audiences and our client partners are going to have vibrant, stand-out programming to enjoy for years to come.”

Forever Dog already works with Slate’s podcast membership platform Supporting Cast, which offers a way for both independent shows and top tier networks to build reliable, recurring revenue. As part of the expanded relationship, Forever Dog will be launching new exclusive content tied to Race Chaser and other shows powered by Supporting Cast.


Acast Launches “First Words” Campaign to Inspire Creators to Start their Podcast



Acast, the world’s leading independent podcast platform, has announced a new campaign looking back at the first words uttered on some of the biggest podcasts from its network of more than 35,000 shows. Acast’s “First Words” campaign features the opening lines of the very first episodes of well-known podcasts from around the world, and aims to inspire creators to start shows of their own.

Developed with agency partner Weirdo – and running across paid social and Acast’s own inventory of 300 million monthly podcast listens – the campaign features the first words from across Acast’s portfolio of podcasts globally, including Off Menu, The Adam Buxton Podcast, Forever35, Dope Black Mums, The Little Dum Dum Club, and many more.

The campaign will also feature amusing videos with top podcasters being challenged to try and remember their own first words – as well as sharing insight into how they themselves took their first steps.

The launch of “First Words” follows research by Acast suggesting that more than 1 in 10 people in the UK plan to start their own podcast this year.

Lizzy Pollott, SVP Marketing Communications and Brand at Acast, said: “Even the longest podcasting journeys start with just one step. Every podcaster – from Adam Buxton to your friend down the road – has had to start somewhere, and take that leap. Our new campaign hopes to inspire you to get started with their show and find their voice and audience.

“By rewinding hundreds of Acast podcast we’ve found the humble first words of shows that have ended up being listened to millions of times around the world. Some are funny, some shocking, some a little bit silly, but they all prove that – however, you want to start telling your story – Acast will help get it heard.”


The Library of Congress Acquires Full Collection from The Kitchen Sisters



For over 40 years, independent audio documentary producers Davia Nelson and Nikki Silvia – The Kitchen Sisters – have chronicled the lives, celebrations and struggles of people from all walks of life, weaving together a rich tapestry of America’s cultural heritage The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution offering access to the creative record of the United States, announced it is acquiring the Kitchen Sisters’ full body of work.

The Kitchen Sister have been honored with two Peabody Awards, a duPont-Columbia Award, two James Beard Awards and more. Their sound-rich audio documentaries on overlooked histories and little-known communities include many series and collaborations heard on NPR: Hidden Kitchens – how communities come together through food; Lost & Found Sound – 20th century life and the people who shaped the sonic landscape of the nation; The Hidden World of Girls – stories of coming of age, rituals and rites of passage, women who blazed a trail. The Sonic Memorial Project, a 9/11 memorial built in sound to the World Trade Center and its surrounding neighborhood; and The Keepers – stories of activist archivists, rogue librarians and keepers of America’s complicated cultural heritage.

The Kitchen Sisters produced Lost & Found Sound, The Sonic Memorial Project, and Hidden Kitchens in collaboration with award-winning independent producer Jay Allison. Hosts of their NPR and PRX specials have included Frances McDormand, Alfre Woodard and Tina Fey, musician Willie Nelson, and filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola.

Their podcast The Kitchen Sisters Present —part of the Radiotopia podcast network from PRX — amplifies the voice of people rarely chronicled. In addition, their major national collaborations have been aired nationally and internationally on NPR, PRX, the BBC, the CBC, Australian Broadcasting Corporation and more.

The American Folklife Center (AFC) at the Library of Congress, highlighting the creativity and cultural traditions of communities throughout the United States and the world, will house and preserve The Kitchen Sisters’ archive in perpetuity. It will include approximately 146,400 mixed material items from the 1970s to the present, and will also include more than 7,000 hours of interviews, oral histories, stories, field recordings and archival audio. The archive will also include photographs, production notebooks and hand-written journals.

The Kitchen Sisters Archive will reside with such notable collections and historic holdings in The Library of Congress as The Alan Lomax Collection, The Studs Terkel Collection, various recordings, plays and manuscripts of Zora Neale Hurston, The AIDS Memorial Quilt Archive, The Rosa Parks Papers, the Susan B. Anthony Papers, and The Emancipation Proclamation.

The Kitchen Sisters continue to produce radio stories, podcasts and other multimedia collaborations. They intend to donate these additional materials to The Library of Congress as well.


AdLarge and G Networks Announce Ad Sales Partnership



AdLarge and G Networks are excited to announce they have entered into an ad sales partnership. With these two companies combining sales networks, this partnership creates a new dynamic and impressive ad sales powerhouse in network audio.

In addition to continuing to represent top-tier content producers, AdLarge will oversee the management, sales, and fulfillment of the network audio ad sales inventory for both companies. G Networks will continue to offer and affiliate their premium programming and services through their existing affiliations team to radio stations across the U.S.

“We’re excited to partner with AdLarge,” commented Warren Friesland, President, G Networks. “AdLarge has a reputation for delivering innovative campaigns to help brands reach their media goals. AdLarge’s ad sales efforts coupled with our own extremely targeted networks will lead to a better return on investment for advertisers, brands, and agencies.”

Gary Schonfeld, Co-CEO and Co-Founder of AdLarge said, “This unique partnership will enhance our already robust ad sales networks, as well as generate greater critical mass and increased coverage of major markets. This is a win-win for the advertisers and the network audio community. The partnership with G Networks will greatly benefit the audio campaigns of advertisers and agency partners.”


Somethin’ Else Appoints Annabel Wilcken as Head of Branded Podcasts in UK



Somethin’ Else, part of Sony Music Entertainment, today announced Annabel Wilcken as Head of Branded Podcasts. She will be based in the UK and report to Jen Nelson, EVP, Co-Head Global Podcasts.

In her new role, Wilcken will lead on client relationships for brand-funded podcasts, growing this part of the business alongside Somethin’ Else’s award-winning creative team. Its branded productions, which include 3.55 Chanel Podcast, Red Bull How To Be Superhuman and All Round Mine with Primark, deliver marketing and awareness for the brand, while also producing audio that audiences love.

Wilcken joins Somethin’ Else after 11 years at Spotify, most recently as Director of Multi-Market Activation & Planning. She served as one of the founding members of Spotify’s London office, and went on to help expand the multi-market advertising partnerships team in New York. She brings experience in developing influential audio and podcast partnership strategies and driving advertising revenue growth across multiple sectors including FMCG, tech and entertainment. Wilcken’s portfolio includes global brands ABInbev, Google, EA Games, Proctor and Gamble, Warner Bros and more.

Jez Nelson said: “Annabel has great experience bringing brand and agency briefs alive in the podcast space. She has that essential balance required to deliver on client briefs whilst working with creatives to make sure audiences are thrilled and engaged. We’re excited to welcome her as part of our senior team.”

Annabel added: “Having evangelized the power of audio as one of the most creative, authentic and effective tools for marketing for most of my career, joining Somethin’ Else to lead their branded podcast efforts is a hugely exciting step.

“The exponential growth in podcast consumption in recent years, and advertisers’ subsequent adoption of podcast advertising, has given the audio industry tremendous momentum. And it’s only the beginning.”

Somethin’ Else has a long and proud history of working with premium brands, including Channel, Primark, Penguin and Red Bull. Somethin’ Else believes in applying the same editorial passion and standards to brand-funded podcasts as it does its own originals or broadcaster clients’ productions.


Black & Brown Podcast Collective will Release “The Report Card”



Black & Brown Podcast Collective, the emerging media, and technology platform supporting and creating opportunities for podcasters and content creators of color will release its newest initiative “The Report Card.” The premise behind this new initiative is to increase the number of culturally competent reviews from individuals who have a deep respect and understanding of the various nuances, P.O.V.’s, and experiences that are presented in the content that podcasters and content creators of color create.

“The Report Card” will include culturally competent reviews of TV/Film and digital series created by creators of color. However, “Podviews” a play-off of reviews, will be its first rollout under this initiative. Under “Podviews” a verified podcast critic will provide a thorough review of a podcast (Podview) and give a number grade (Podmerit rating) for each category that is included in the grading rubric.

The grading rubric is a structured criterion and scoring guide used to evaluate a podcast. Podcast will be evaluated in five categories, originality, production, consistency, creativity, and overall content. Each of the five grades will be averaged to gain the overall Podmerit rating. When podcast received three (3) reviews, the Podmerit rating will be displayed on the podcasters’ profile found on The Black & Brown Podcast Collective’s platform. There will also be an opportunity for those who are not a verified podcast critic to submit a review through the “Listener’s Choice” option. Podcast grades are projected to be released in Spring 2022.

According to The Black & Brown Podcast Collective, “Too many times reviews lack clarity, consistency, valid arguments, and proper grammar. “I hate this pod, all they do is complain. It’s stupid and it sucks” while leaving a one-star, OR “I love this podcast, it’s the best ever!” while leaving a five-star is not highly informative for a potential podcast fan. Therefore, it’s important for us to include thorough reviews from those who understand the message, language, and cadence seen and heard by podcasts and content created by creators of color.

For those who wish to participate, The Black & Brown Podcast Collective has opened applications to become a verified podcast critic. They are in search of Writers and professionals working in media & entertainment, publications (to include College newspapers), long-standing/consistent bloggers, vloggers, and websites to participate. You can find out more information at www.bbpodcollective.com and press the link “Report Card” or visit the link at www.bbpodcollective.com/thereportcard.


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.”