Tag Archives: iHeartMedia

iHeartMedia Announced The Black Effect Network



iHeartMedia and Charlamagne Tha God, one of the most influential and authoritative voices in media, announced The Black Effect Podcast Network. It is a joint venture partnership.

The Black Effect Podcast Network is positioned to become the world’s largest podcast publisher dedicated to Black listeners, bringing together the most influential and trusted voices in black culture for stimulating conversations, around social justice, pop culture, sports, mental health, news, comedy, and more.

The multi-genre venture will feature a luminous roster of marquee talent and culture-shifting voices committed to enlightening, educating and entertaining audiences curated by Charlamagne himself. The programming will provide a bridge to understanding and interaction rooted in diverse perspectives.

The Black Effect Podcast Network creatives will include comedian/actress Jess Hilarious, Social Justice Activist Tamika Mallory, American attorney and TV host Eboni K. Williams, and many more. The Black Effect Podcast Network has also partnered with other widely successful podcasts like All the Smoke, Drink Champs, and The 85 South Show, and will debut with 18 podcasts this fall on iHeartRadio and everywhere podcasts are available.

The Black Effect Podcast Network will also produce exciting limited series podcasts in conjunction with various high wattage creators and talent, musical artists, actors, actresses, sports and literary superstars to support their upcoming films, music releases, and related projects. All shows on The Black Effect Podcast Network will be distributed through the iHeartPodcast Network.

The Black Effect Podcast Network launch lineup will include:

  • Drink Champs with N.O.R.E and DJ EFN
  • All The Smoke with Matt Barnes
  • The 85 South Show with Karlous Miller, DC Young Fly and Chico Bean
  • Whoreible Decisions with Mandii B and Weezy
  • Dropping Gems with Devi Brown
  • Holding Court with Eboni K. Williams
  • Carefully Reckless with Jess Hilarious
  • Street Politicians with Tamika Mallory and Mysonne
  • Hot Happy Mess with Zuri Hall
  • Untitled with Bonang Matheba
  • Hello Somebody with Senator Nina Turner
  • P.O.D. with Ashley and Tammy
  • Straight Shot No Chaser with Tezlyn Figaro
  • Laugh and Learn with Flame Monroe (executive produced by Tiffany Haddish)
  • Checking In with Michelle Williams
  • Cut To It with Steve Smith Sr.

Shondaland Audio and iHeartMedia Announce Upcoming Lineup



iHeartMedia and Shondaland Audio, a division of Shondaland, founded by award-winning television writer and producer Shonda Rimes, announced the division’s upcoming lineup.

Co-Produced with iHeartRadio, three new original podcasts will launch as part of the partnership, which was first announced and formed late last year. You Down? With Obama’s Other Daughters, Criminalia, and Go Ask Ali debut this month on iHeartRadio and everywhere else podcasts are available. As a result of GroupM’s sponsorship deal – the first iHeart and Shondaland Audio partnership – the largest global media investment network’s clients have exclusive access to the entire slate of original podcasts.

Shondaland Audio Shows Released in August of 2020:

“You Down?” with Obama’s Other Daughters – Hosted by four members of the all Black, all female comedy troupe known as Obama’s Other Daughters: Maame-Yaa Aforo, Ashley Holston, Yazmin Monet Watkins and Shakira Ja’nai Paye. These hilarious and opinionated friends come together for laughs and brutal honesty in this talk-show style podcast featuring fun, irreverent discussions as they offer unique perspective and comedic take on all things culture. It was released on August 11.

Criminalia – In this podcast, veteran Holly Frey (cohost of the award-winning podcast Stuff You Missed in History Class) and co-host Maria Trimarchi (writer, journalist and researcher) ask the question “what can we learn from the criminals and crimes of the past?” Criminalia is a dark, yet playful look at historical true crime. This podcast was released on August 18.

Go Ask Ali – Hosted by actress and New York Times best-selling author, Ali Wentworth who has become a comedic authority on wading through all the chaos that is modern life. Ali speaks with doctors, experts and friends about “How to grow a teenager in a pandemic” and “how to grow a relationship in a pandemic”. This podcast was released on August 20.

Upcoming Shondaland Audio Show Details Include:

#Matter – This scripted drama will be written, produced and directed by Dylan Brown (writer/producer, Rasing Kanan, Mac and Devin go to High School), and told through the lens of a reporter looking back at a case of police brutality, as a father intervenes in his teenage son’s beating and later find himself, his badly hurt son and a wounded cop barricaded in a nearby restaurant as they all struggle to stay alive. Set to launch this fall.

American Coup – A scripted series from writers Aaron Tracy (winter, Law and Order: SVU) and Andrew Lenchewski (co-creator Royal Pains) that explodes the incredible, untold story of Edith Wilson, the woman who hijacked the Oval Office. As a writing team, Aaron and Andrew have sold original TV pilots to USA Network, Freeform, Lionsgate, ans Alcon Entertainment. Set to launch this winter.

Black Girl Lost – This documentary-style podcast, produced by award-winning filmmaker and writer dream hampton and hosted by award-winning journalist Yesha Calahan, who looks at complexities behind the growing numbers of missing Black women and girls. Asking the questions who takes them and why? But most importantly, does anyone care about Black girls lost? The show will also feature thought-provoking interviews around a number of these unsolved missing persons cases. Set to launch early next year.


iHeartMedia and Aaron Mahnke Sign Multi-Year Partnership Extension



iHeartMedia announced a multi-year extension to the iHeartPodcast Network’s exclusive partnership with esteemed author and podcast creator, Aaron Mahnke.

The deal includes two more years of new content for the popular Cabinet of Curiosities, two new seasons of Unobscured, as well an executive producer role for the newly launched Strange Arrivals, additional seasons of Noble Blood and a new scripted series set to launch this fall.

Additionally, the partnership will add a slate of five new podcasts to feature groundbreaking talent including Rabia Chaudry – attorney, advocate and author of the New York Times bestselling book “Adnan’s Story.”

A pioneer of the podcasting medium, Mahnke rose to fame several years ago with his megahit show Lore, which is still one of the most downloaded podcasts in the world and was spun off into a TV show, book series and live tour. In 2018, iHeartMedia and Mahnke entered into an exclusive partnership to create an original slate of podcasts.

This resulted in new, huge hits like Unobscured and Cabinet of Curiosities. As part of this deal, Mahnke also began to executive produce new shows including Noble Blood, which reached the top of podcast charts everywhere when it launched last year.

In addition to being available on digital, full episodes and vignettes of the extended content slate will air on broadcast radio, bringing this exceptional storytelling to iHeartMedia’s more than a quarter of a billion monthly broadcast listeners.


iHeartMedia Seeks to Increase its Foreign Ownership



iHeartMedia has filed a petition for declaratory ruling with the FCC to allow it to exceed the maximum foreign ownership limit of 25%

iHeart is seeking FCC approval for foreign investors to own up to 100% of its equity and voting interests, and specific approval for certain foreign investors that seek to directly or indirectly hold more than 10% of the company’s equity, and/or hold equity interests that will cause them to be deemed to hold more than 10% of iHeart’s voting rights.

In its filing, iHeart states that changes in its ownership structure that are an outgrowth of its bankruptcy reorganization from the issuing of new common stock and becoming publicly traded will potentially cause foreign approval for two foreign investment firms that will hold more than 5% of iHeart’s voting or 10% of iHeart’s equity interests.

The Ireland based PIMCO Group, which is controlled by the German based controlled by Allianz SE seeks to hold up to a 19.99% voting interest and a 32.99% equity interest in iHeart. The Bermuda based Invesco and affiliated entities up to a 19.99% voting and equity interest in iHeart after previously getting temporary approval form the FCC last summer to own 9.4% of iHeart’s Class A Common Stock.

iHeart argues grant of the Petition will serve public interest by “enabling iHeart to better compete in the already diverse and ever-expanding media marketplace, incentivizing foreign investment in broadcasting, and promoting U.S. trade policy by encouraging reciprocal investment opportunities for U.S. companies in foreign markets, while avoiding any risks to national security, law enforcement, or foreign or trade policy.”


iHeartMedia and OZY Media Announce Multi-Year Deal



iHeartMedia and OZY Media announced a new multi-year deal to co-produce and promote a slate of iHeartRadio Original Podcasts, with three shows set to be released in 2020 and distributed through the iHeartPodcast Network. The partnership reflects iHeartRadio’s focus on growing its library of high-quality original podcasts for its hundreds of millions of listeners across the country and OZY Media’s continued expansion into original content for audio and TV.

“OZY’s global suite of diverse storytellers and story-finders focuses on what’s new and what’s next. These podcasts reflect the desire of younger audiences to broaden their minds and think bigger,” said Carlos Watson, co-founder and CEO of OZY Media. “We are thrilled to be collaborating with the massively talented team at iHeartMedia to co-produce powerful and diverse podcasts for listeners.”

The first co-produced podcast in the slate will be Around the World, a travel and culture podcast featuring stories of changemakers and renegades from around the world who are doing the unexpected in the face of adversity. The content will originate from OZY’s groundbreaking year-long editorial project that saw them report three stories from every country on earth. The two additional podcasts set to launch this year include a spin-off from OZY’s series The Thread and a scripted podcast.

These narratives draw from OZY’s cutting-edge digital news stories and have evolved into podcasts that appeal to a wide range of curious listeners interested in seeing a broader and bolder world. In addition to co-producing the new slate of original podcasts, two of OZY’s existing news and culture podcasts – The Thread and OZY Confidential – will join the iHeartPodcast Network’s deep catalog of podcast titles.

As part of the deal, iHeartMedia and OZY Media will work together to co-produce these original podcasts for distribution and promotion across iHeartMedia’s multiple platforms including broadcast radio stations, iHeartRadio, its digital streaming platform, as well as social media channels. The iHeartPodcast Network has more than 750 original shows available to listeners nationwide.


iHeartMedia Initiated a Round of Layoffs



Recently, iHeartMedia announced a new organizational structure that created a series of Market Groups. Those groups included the Regional Division, the Metro Division, the Community Division, and a Multi-Media Partnerships Division. Not long after that announcement, a series of layoffs occurred.

Rolling Stone has details about the layoffs, which it reported were “concentrated in small and medium markets, where staffs had already been reduced, striking another major blow to local radio.” Rolling Stone also wrote:

iHeartMedia, which controls more than 800 radio stations and paid its CEO more than $14 million in 2017, declined to comment on the specific number of layoffs. In a statement that echoed its email to employees, the company noted that “during a transition like this, it’s reasonable to expect that there will be some shifts in jobs – some by location and some by function – but the number is relatively small given our overall employee base of 12,500.” “That said,” the statement continued, “we recognize that the loss of any job is significant; we take that responsibility seriously and have been thoughtful in the process.”

If you want to get a look at how widespread the layoffs are, type “iHeartMedia layoffs” into the search engine of your choice. There are dozens of articles from local news sites reporting the names and (former) positions of people who have worked in radio for a very long time – and who are now unemployed.


iHeartMedia Announced a Series of Automotive Integrations



At CES 2020, iHeartMedia announced seven new upcoming integrations with General Motors, Android Automotive, Panasonic, SoundHound, and others. To optimize and enrich the in-vehicle experience for drivers, iHeartRadio is rolling out a series of automotive integrations and concept demonstrations all designed to bring iHeartRadio’s library of audio content to listeners in a seamless way.

…By integrating with the most innovative automotive companies on the market, iHeartRadio enables consumers to access the music, podcasts and personalities they love, whenever and wherever they are, on any device. iHeartRadio is currently available on 250 platforms and 2,000 devices including on digital auto dashes, tablets, wearables, and smartphones as well as on virtual assistant, small speakers, TVs, gaming consoles and more.

Details on iHeartRadio’s new integrations can be found in:

Android Automotive OS: iHeartRadio is releasing a new, stand-alone version of its app for vehicles powered by Android with Google Play Store built-in. The app will be distributed via the Google Play Store and available in the first Polestar 2 and Volvo XC40 Recharge vehicle launches in 2020.

BMW ConnectedDrive: Building upon iHeartRadio’s existing BMW ConnectedDrive experience, the company is releasing a new app version that will be available in both Flagship Mobile clients, iOS and Android.

HARMAN Ignite: The new HARMAN Ignite Marketplace is supported through a strong partner ecosystem of in-vehicle apps and services. iHeartRadio announced it is an early ecosystem partner for the HARMAN Ignite Marketplace.

LG webOS Auto: LG’s webOS platform is now supported by the car. IHeartRadio on webOS Auto is based on its TV design and is available for rear seat use.

Panasonic: Panasonic Automotive built SkipGen – which is powered by Android 10. It features the iHeartRadio app designed for Android Automotive.

SoundHound / Houndify / Hound App: iHeartRadio and SoundHound are working together to bring iHeart Radio’s content to SoundHound Inc.’s Houndify voice AI platform and Hound app. Through this partnership, developers and partners using Houndify and Hound app will have access to iHeartRadio’s free suite of offerings through Live Radio (U.S. only), Artist Radio (U.S. only) and Podcasts (available globally except the U.K.), no login or authentication required.


iHeartMedia Announced New Organizational Structure



iHeartMedia announced a new organizational structure for its Market Group as it modernizes the company to take advantage of significant investments it has made in technology and artificial intelligence (AI) and its unique scale and leadership position in the audio marketplace.

The new structure will enable the company to maximize the performance of each of its markets – and the company overall – with its unique scale and multiple platforms, and its expertise in consumers, monetization and data.

The new organizational structure groups iHeartMedia’s markets by common needs and characteristics into three distinctly different divisions to make sharing of resources and experiences easier and more targeted. The new structure of the iHeartMedia’s Markets Group will continue to be led by Greg Ashlock, President of the iHeartMedia Markets Group.

iHeartMedia Market Groups:

The Region Division: The Region Division comprises the company’s largest markets, like New York and Los Angeles, that each reach hundreds of cities, communities, and trading areas for local businesses. The Region Division will be led by Division Presidents Kevin LeGrett and Scott Hopek.

The Metro Division: The Metro Division houses markets that are large areas that still encompass multiple communities – but are not regional hubs like the company’s largest markets. The Metro Division will be led by Division Presidents Tom McConnell, Tony Coles, and Linda Byrd.

The Community Division: The Community Division includes markets that focus on the shared needs of one community and one trading area for most businesses and advertisers and will also group markets into areas which are geographically close and culturally similar. The Community Division will be led by President Shosh Abromovich, Nick Gnau and Dan Lankford.

Additionally, the company is creating a new Division that cuts across all Markets – the very successful Multi-Market Partnerships (MMP) Division headed by Julie Donahue, who is elevated to President of MMP with responsibility for this business.

The company will also be using its new technology- and AI enabled Centers of Excellence – which consolidate functional areas of expertise in specific locations to deliver the highest quality products and services – for every Market, enabling each to take advantage of the company’s scale and shared resources across programming, marketing, digital, podcasts, sales, and sales support to provide a better experience for listeners and business partners and a more efficient process for all its employees.


iHeartMedia has been Approved for Listing on NASDAQ



iHeartMedia announced that its Class A common stock has been approved for listing on the NASDAQ Global Select Market. Upon listing, iHeartMedia’s Class A common stock will trade under the ticker “IHRT”.

As previously announced, iHeart had been evaluating all paths to achieve a listing of its Class A common stock on a recognized U.S. stock exchange following emergence from its restructuring process. iHeartMedia has determined that a listing on the NASDAQ Global Select Market is the optimal strategy for iHeartMedia and all of the company’s stakeholders.

As a result, the Company has requested the withdrawal of its previously filed registration statement on Form S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. iHeartMedia’s management team met with investors the week of July 15 in advance of a listing date of July 18, 2019.

“This is an exciting time for our company and an important step in the evolution of iHeartMedia. Our listing on the NASDAQ will provide greater liquidity for existing shareholders, allow us to diversify our investor base, and give us improved access to public capital markets in the future,” said Bob Pittman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of iHeartMedia, Inc.