All posts by Jen Thorpe

APM Studios Names Joanne Griffith Chief Content Officer



APM Studios, the podcast production division of American Public Media (APM), has announced two new executive appointments. Effective immediately, Joanne Griffith joins the team as Chief Content Officer and Thomas De Napoli has been named Chief Strategy Officer, solidifying the senior leadership team under General Manager Lily Kim. Along with Chief Operating Officer Alex Schaffert, the group is charged with forwarding the studio’s mission to tell stories that inspire change through unique perspectives, voices and realities.

Griffith will oversee the editorial vision and brand voice for APM Studios and will have creative oversight on original and acquired podcasts. Her new role marks her return to APM, having previously worked with Marketplace, the organization’s business and economic news outlet, where she implemented a successful audience engagement-focused approach to growing the enterprise’s digital footprint. With over 20 years of experience in audio reporting, producing and editing, Griffith has a deep background in public media, working with the BBC, NPR, Southern California Public Radio and KQED. She was recently the founding managing editor of The California Newsroom, one of NPR’s first collaborative regional news hubs, and was also the lead producer on ESPN’s 30 for 30 podcast The King of Crenshaw.

As Chief Strategy Officer for APM Studios, De Napoli will lead on all business development efforts to extend APM’s podcast IP across multimedia platforms, including consumer products and experiences. He will also continue managing sponsor and partner revenue growth for the organization’s portfolio of on-demand audio content. De Napoli joined APM in 2020 as managing director, and over the past year has built the podcast business’ sales and business development strategy, including a landmark partnership deal with Cadence 13. Prior to APM, he led ViacomCBS’ digital transformation initiatives to monetize its social media footprint and developed revenue-generating partnerships with leading creators and digital publishers.

“During this pivotal time for APM Studios, Alex, Tom and I are thrilled to welcome Joanne. Given her impressive background in public media, her thoughtful audience-engagement approach towards storytelling, and the past initiatives she has led to champion diversity efforts, it was clear from the start that Joanne would be the perfect person to round out our leadership team,” commented Lily Kim, General Manager, APM Studios. “Expanding Tom’s role here at APM Studios was also an easy decision given the significant impact and growth he’s led on content innovation and digital sales capabilities across our organization.”

“Over the past 18 months, the media ecosystem has experienced a rapid acceleration from an ‘attention’ economy that is measured in impressions, views, and clicks towards a ‘passion economy’ realized in fan love, engagement and loyalty. We’re excited about the opportunity this opens up for public media organizations like APM Studios to build partnerships and develop new offerings with others who share our values as we continue to advance our purpose-driven mission of delivering accessible, relevant and impactful stories to new and existing audiences in storytelling spaces beyond audio.”

Flagship podcasts produced by APM Studios include the award-winning Terrible, Thanks for Asking; Brains On!; Don’t Ask Tig; The Splendid Table; and The Slowdown. The studio — which specializes in developing and producing podcasts across multiple genres, including kids and family, news and investigative, and personality and lifestyle categories — has several new programs in development to launch in the upcoming fall/winter season.

The new leadership appointments follow APM Studios becoming an official entity under the American Public Media umbrella.


Audacy Promotes Tim Clarke to Senior VP, Audio Content



Audacy has elevated Tim Clarke to Senior Vice President, Digital Audio Content on the company’s central digital team, effective immediately.

In this role, Clarke will be responsible for audio content across the Audacy digital platform, which includes the Audacy app, Audacy.com, and Audacy’s station websites. Clarke will drive strategy and execution for new exclusive and original content for the platform and will have oversight of Audacy’s new exclusive digital music stations. He will also be responsible for the digital audio experiences of Audacy’s portfolio of broadcast stations, local and national station affiliates, and podcast partners. Clarke will work alongside Pam Russo, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Audacy digital platform; and John Pacino, Executive Vice President of Product. He will also work closely with Executive Vice President and Head of Programming Jeff Sottolano and Audacy’s programming and content teams across the company to develop new and innovative listener experiences by combining the technology of the platform with Audacy’s best-in-class audio content and talent, while collaborating with podcast studio leadership and local teams and talent to further enhance and grow Audacy’s local podcast content and audience.

“Tim is a rising star in our industry and we’re excited to add his talents and capabilities to our digital business,” said J.D. Crowley, Chief Digital Officer, Audacy. “He brings rich experience leading content and consumer strategies that we trust will enable him to help us further elevate our mission of delivering dynamic digital audio content through a listener-friendly platform every day.”

“I am truly honored to join our industry-leading digital and content teams as we build the future of audio with Audacy,” said Clarke. “A sincere thanks to the team at Audacy, including Mark Hannon and my colleagues in Boston. I have loved working with the incredible people and brands in this market and look forward to seeing their continued success under Mike Thomas’ leadership.”

Clarke joined Audacy in March 2021. He previously served as Vice President of Content and Audience for Cox Media Group (CMG). In this role, he oversaw all content, programming, marketing and digital audience strategies for the company’s radio properties. Prior to that, Clarke was Senior Director of Digital Audience, where he was responsible for digital content, audience and product strategy for CMG’s radio stations. Other positions with Cox Media Group include Director of Branding and Programming for CMG Tampa’s “Hot 101.5” WPOI-FM, Director of Social Media for all six of CMG’s Tampa properties, Program Director at CMG Jacksonville’s WAPE-FM and Music Director for CMG Long Island’s WBLI-FM. In 2011, Clarke was honored by Edison Research as one of their “Top 30 Under 30” in media.

Audacy subsequently welcomes Mike Thomas to succeed Clarke as Senior Vice President and Market Manager of its Boston market. In this role, Thomas will oversee the market’s six stations including Big 103 (WBGB-FM), Magic 106.7 (WMJX-FM), Mix 104.1 (WWBX-FM) WEEI (WEEI-FM), WEEI (WEEI-AM) and WVEI (WVEI-AM), effective November 1.

“I am thrilled to welcome Mike back to Boston to lead Audacy’s leading brands here,” said Mark Hannon, Regional President, Audacy. “Mike’s a proven winner and his leadership will be critical in moving the business forward. I also want to thank Tim Clarke for the exceptional job he has done this past year and wish him continued success as he moves to our central digital team.”

“Boston evokes memories of great times and celebrations,” said Thomas.” “When Mark Hannon reached out about coming back and leading such a diverse group of stations, it was exhilarating! I can’t wait to reconnect with a lot of talented people, some which I spent over a dozen years working side-by-side with, and celebrating many more victories.”

Thomas joins Audacy from Good Karma Brands, where he served as Market Manager of ESPN Chicago 1000 AM since December 2019. Prior to that role, Thomas was the Brand Manager for 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston from 2017 to 2019. During his tenure, the station was awarded three Marconi Awards for Sports Station of the Year. Thomas spent nine years with CBS Radio, holding multiple roles including Vice President of Sports Programming in which he worked with the program directors of the company’s 18 owned and operated local sports stations across the country, as well as Vice President of Programming for CBS Radio Boston and Program Director, including for Marconi Award-winning WZLX for 11 years. Thomas launched his career at Clear Channe/iHeart, serving as Program Director and on-air personality for KGB-FM in San Diego and WFBQ-FM in Indianapolis, as well as Rock Brand Manager in 2001 for the company’s eight Classic Rock stations in Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and Iowa.


Audacy Welcomes Lena Moss Glaser as VP and Executive Producer of 2400Sports



Audacy welcomes Lena Moss Glaser as Vice President and Executive Producer of 2400Sports, the newest podcast studio in Audacy’s award-winning digital audio portfolio. In this role, Glaser will oversee all production and content operations for all 2400Sports podcasts, partnering with producers and talent internally and externally to develop slates of new podcasts, reporting to J.D. Crowley, Chief Digital Officer, Audacy.

“I’m thrilled to welcome Lena to Audacy and our podcast team as we continue to scale our newest studio 2400Sports,” said Crowley. “Her deep experience in sports media, from digital and social-first content to international productions at the biggest sporting events in the world, and her ability to find unique stories that engage a diverse range of audiences, combined with her reputation as an incredible leader, makes her a perfect fit to lead 2400Sports, and we’re looking forward to Lena lending her voice, skills and talent to our team.”

“I’m excited to be joining Audacy and to have the opportunity to lead 2400Sports at a time when the way we consume sports and connect with athletes is constantly evolving,” said Glaser. “We will work to deliver fans the content they crave, to tell stories that take them somewhere new, and to champion emerging voices. As a fan of the shows created by Audacy’s other podcast studios, I am so excited to be working alongside them as we build this brand, and to get to work making 2400Sports a home for every kind of sports fan.”

A veteran sports studio producer and five-time Sports Emmy Award winner, Glaser began her career with NBC, where she produced network studio shows for four Olympic Games and served as Coordinating Producer of NBC’s Paralympics coverage in Sochi, Rio, and Pyeongchang. She produced the National Dog Show and in 2021 launched the network’s first ever live Olympic studio show on Twitter. Glaser received a 2015 Sports Emmy nomination for feature producing.

Her additional remote, studio, and feature credits include work on the US Open, Wimbledon, and Roland Garros; three Super Bowls, and “Football Night in America.” After NBC, Glaser worked for Katie Couric Media running branded content initiatives. In 2019 she partnered with TFA Group to develop the documentary “Watershed,” which tells the story of Paralympic swimmer and gold medalist Mallory Weggemann, working alongside Weggemann as Executive Producer. Glaser re-joined NBC in 2021 as Coordinating Producer of “On Her Turf,” the first ever Olympic broadcast and podcast dedicated exclusively to women’s sports. She remains dedicated to growing both the women’s sports and Paralympic and adaptive sports media spaces.


Supercast Opens Direct Access to Spotify for Subscription Podcasters



Subscription podcasters now have a centralized way to reach listeners on every major podcast player with the addition of Spotify to Supercast’s integration roster.

Supercast has built its new integration using Spotify Open Access, which enables publishers to offer gated content on Spotify using the publisher’s existing subscription network.

Supercast is the first subscription platform to offer the Spotufy Open Access integration to all its users.

More than 28 million Americans use Spotify as their primary podcast player. Now, with an easy way to access those listeners, subscription podcasters on Supercast can access a larger audience while managing their subscriber base all in one place.

“We’ve heard time and again from our Spotify listeners about wanting to access our paid Get Sleepy feed in their Spotify account,” said Michael Brandon, creator of the Get Sleepy podcast. “The integration of Spotify into Supercast means we can now serve our audience better – and that makes both them and us very happy.”

With the new Supercast – Spotify subscription integration, podcasters can enjoy multiple benefits:

  • A single place to upload paid content that delivers across all podcast players
  • A great experience for their Spotify audience, who can now link their podcast subscription to their Spotify account to listen
  • Easier to covert Spotify listeners to a paid subscription with a fast and easy signup process
  • No additional cost to include Spotify as an opting for subscribers

“It’s so important to serve listeners on whatever podcast player they already use. That’s why Supercast has always been an ardent supporter of the open podcast ecosystem and making things work together,” said Supercast CEO Jason Sew Hoy. “Now, thanks to Supercast’s integration with Spotify, our podcasters can serve 100% of their audience with a seamless subscription experience.”

“We believe creators, from independent podcasters to publishers and platforms, should have control over how they approach their business and have access to audiences everywhere they listen to audio,” said Nir Zicherman, Head of Future Formats for Spotify. “Bringing Spotify Open Access to all Supercast users marks a breakthrough in subscription audio content, and we’re very excited to see creators succeed.”

Amid a boom in subscription podcasting, Supercast has been growing rapidly. The company’s top 10 podcasters now earn more than USD$10 million in annual recurring revenue from the paid subscribers they have on the platform.


New Social Audio Network Jamit to Launch Public Beta



Curious minds looking for stories that excite and resonate with them, now have a new ally in social audio, Jamit.

Touted as the B.E.T of podcasts, Jamit is a new social audio platform focused on taking authentic stories to a global audience. The podcast platform which earlier in the year launched its services in San Francisco, California is now set to launch fully in Nigeria spreading its operations globally. Jamit features podcasts produced by creators from different backgrounds and cultures who are willing to lend out their voices, speaking on a variety of topics from religion, comedy and love to history, politics and science. Subscribers can also get their weekly fix of exciting, inspiring and thought provoking topics from Jamit originals such as What a Joke, The Life of Testimony, Date Sex and Love, Almost Legend, Citizen Z, Cheap Talk, The Afropolitan Podcast and more.

Over the years podcasts have gained popularity because of the timeless art of storytelling. But despite the growing popularity of podcasts, the podosphere still remains predominantly white. Moreover, although research indicates a growth in black listenership, one of the most popular podcasting platform, iTunes’ Top 100 chart is dominated by shows featuring white hosts.

There is hope for a growing black podcast audience and black podcast creators as Jamit is rewriting a new narrative for podcasts. The company is motivated by its mission to build the future of storytelling by enabling diverse storytellers connect with an enthusiastic audience to support them and also make it much easier for them to get discovered globally.

Software and Audio Engineer, Ike Orizu and Stanley Agbadugo are the masterminds behind Jamit. The duo are also the Founders of TruSpot, the first African music platform which played a huge role in the growth and breakthrough of AfroBeats. When asked about the motivation for creating Jamit, Orizu explained: “I want to amplify diverse voices worldwide and increase their representation in the social audio and creator economy space.”

Jamit podcasts platform is easy to use. Users can discover audio stories by topic or by entering a creator’s username. Podcasts can be streamed from a computer or by downloading the free app available in the App store and Google Playstore. All that is required is to sign up and subscribe to favorite podcasts.

Although still in its infancy, Jamit welcomes podcast submissions from creators worldwide, who are passionate about storytelling and want to connect and share their stories with an attentive audience.


Liberated Syndication Announces New Chief Financial Officer



Liberated Syndication (“Libsyn”) announced the appointment of Jonathan Charak as Chief Financial Officer, effective September 29, 2021.

Mr. Charak will be responsible for all financial aspects of the company, including accounting, financial reporting, financial planning, and financial analysis. Mr. Charak commented, “I am thrilled to be joining Libsyn, which is a true pioneer in podcasting. I look forward to partnering with the incredible executive team as we continue Libsyn’s path as a leader in the podcasting industry and position the company to execute on its growth plans.”

President and Chief Operating Officer Laurie Sims added, “We are excited to have Jonathan join Libsyn. He has strategically led multiple organizations into high growth phases, including organic and acquisition-driven growth. He has previously been the Chief Financial Officer of five separate companies, founded two companies, and has experience in Big 4 public accounting. I believe he will make a fantastic addition to the team.”

Mr. Charak served as Chief Financial Officer and Secretary to the Board at Telular Corporation – a publicly traded Internet of Things business where he helped grow total enterprise value by over 17x during his tenure before the company was taken private through an equity buyout. Most recently, Mr. Charak served as a fractional CFO for multiple companies in several industries, including renewable energy, cannabis, and telecommunications, and was a Co-Founder of a real estate development company.

Primary functions in these roles included capital raising, capital allocation, mergers and acquisitions, business development, investor relations, and financial reporting, planning and analysis. Mr. Charak is a certified public accountant and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University Bloomington.


Captivate Releases Host-Integrated Guest Booking



Captivate.fm, an independent IAB Tech Lab certified podcast hosting, analytics, and monetization platform, has released a fully integrated guest booking and interview management system for independent podcasters.

The system allows independent audio creators to book and manage their guest interviews from one central location that is connected to their podcast hosting. In addition to allowing guests to proactively book shows, hosts can automatically capture all of the relevant guest data for use across their podcast’s workflow, including in the measurement of download uplift based on specific guests and in the automation of episode show notes.

Regarding the update, Captivate CEO Mark Asquith said, “Since I started podcasting in 2011, I’ve been using calendar-booking links for my guests that were provided by third-parties. That works, but it’s not as effective as it should be for the serious modern podcaster; there is no simple link to the other pieces of my workflow which means that I can’t, for example, pass my guest’s bio and social links automatically to my episode show notes, nor could I easily overlay the results of any given guest’s audience onto my own download numbers.”

Captivate has made that easy for the busy creator and in addition to saving podcasters huge amounts of time, it also reduces the cost of podcasting by removing one extra paid service from the podcasting stack.”

Alongside the release of these new features, Asquith also confirmed that the booking platform integrates from day one with the world-class remote recording platform, SquadCast, by automatically creating SquadCast recording sessions when a guest books an interview slot.

SquadCast CEO, Zachariah Moreno said “We’re really keen at SquadCast on making sure that podcasters have the most effective & efficient technology available to them so when Mark, Kieran and the Captivate team spoke to us about being the launch partner for the guest booking and interview management platform, it was something that we got excited about and said ‘yes’ to really quickly.”

The Captivate team is due to integrate this new guest booking and interview management service with the Podcasting 2.0 initiative and Podchaser in its next minor follow-up release.

Launched to celebrate International Podcast Day on September 30th, this upgrade follows Captivate’s recent release cross-promotional feed drops and network features, with the new guest booking & interview management features being available to all podcast creators for free, unlimited use on any Captivate plan.


AudioUK and Podcasting, Seriously Awards Fund Announce Partnership



UK Audio producers’ trade body AudioUK has been announced as a media partner to introduce and publicize the Podcasting, Seriously Awards Fund in the UK.

The Fund has already been running in the U.S. and Canada, supporting independent audio creators to submit work to U.S. and Canada competitions, by covering submission fees for producers, editors, and others.

The Fund supports independent BIPOC and LGBTQ+ audio producers to submit high-quality work to media and journalism awards. The resulting creation of a more diverse set of award nominees and winners increases the diversity of award entrants, and the opportunities that winning an award brings.

The Fund welcomes reimbursement requests throughout the year for awards applies to in the previous 12 months from the application date.

The Fund’s primary partners include Spotify, Acast, AIR and SiriusXM.

It will enable producers to apply for the UK’s many podcasting awards, including the Audio Production Awards (APAs) run by AudioUK.

If any companies or individuals would like to contribute to the fund, they can do so via Patreon.
Chloe Straw, Managing Director of AudioUK, said:

“Supporting initiatives like this is part of our ongoing commitment to making our sector more diverse and inclusive. This Fund has already been working well in the U.S. and Canada and has major backing from some leading podcast platforms and partners. We really hope people will use it to put themselves forward to gain recognition for their work in audio and make our awards ever more diverse and inclusive”.

Nina Robinson, a supporter of the Fund in the UK and owner of AudioUK member company Soundtruism, pictured, said:

“I have been working with Juleyka Lantigua, the founder of the Podcasting Seriously Awards Fund in the US, to expand the fund to the UK. My personal experience as a South Asian woman from Birmingham has motivated me to use my privilege, as a recipient of industry awards, to foster inclusion to benefit others in a meaningful and practical way. My hope is that innovatively and carefully crafted programmes by a whole range of producers and journalists can be recognised and rewarded.”

Juleyka Lantigua, who founded LWC Studios four years ago after a long career in media, said:

“I see the Fund’s UK extension as a natural next step in helping global podcast talent rise, so we can all benefit from their work and enjoy their creative gifts.”


Vib3s Scans Podcasts For A Smart Audio Check



Vib3s is launching its first service of audio quality check for podcasts. The startup company was launched earlier this year in Montbonnot, France, with a simple baseline: beyond contents quality, podcasts audio quality should be considered a crucial ‘make or break’ factor when it comes to grow an audience and turn listeners into returning customers.

That first online service offered by Vib3s prompts podcasters to upload one episode on Vib3s’s website and receive an assessment of the audio quality for the document submitted. Within minutes, the system developed by Vib3s, mixing algorithms and AI, measures several audio parameters while the result of the evaluation comes with a score reflecting the overall audio quality of the podcast.

The podcaster receives an evaluation report by email. The service is free of charge, immediate, and comes with extra advice to improve targeted audio parameters if need be.

Vib3s’s foundations, a blend of technical expertise and taste for entrepreneurial adventures, lie on its three patrons: Jérémie Weber CEO, Matthieu Perréard is the newly appointed COO and Baptiste Vericel is the company’s CTO. Charlotte Lecat comes as a talented addition as Web Project Manager. The startup partners with Paris-based IRCAM (Institut de Recherche et de Coordination Acoustique/Musique, the French public Research Lab for Acoustics) to boost its technical development and promote fully French-bred services and solutions.

Vib3s’s raison d’être originates from a simple statement: in the early days of podcasts, shows were mainly the creation of seasoned media professionals and journalists, who were familiar with the overall process of content production from capturing to broadcasting and promoting. This landscape has today shifted to accommodate a new generation of podcasters with various backgrounds. For some, podcasting is a hobby, for others an additional promotional tool with communications purposes. The technical background of these new content creators, however, is sometimes too light to handle the usual professional tools and systems, meant for audio technicians.

Industrial and audio professionals should then weigh in to offer user-friendly content creation tools designed for non-professionals, enabling the new creators to deliver without a thorough tech background.

This is the rationale that drove Vib3s into offering its first audio quality evaluation service: simple, user-friendly with swift results, it supports podcasters in guiding them towards a better sound.