Bleav Joins The Cumulus Podcast Network

Cumulus Media announced the Bleav network has going the Cumulus Podcast Network. Bleav podcasts cover the NFL, NBA, NCAAB, SEC, and NHL as well as soccer, betting, and pop culture for more than 50 million followers. 

Bleav will be the first network that will feature a show with a current or former player from every American professional and major college sports team, providing fans the insight and access only a player can provide. The Cumulus Podcast Network will distribute, market, and monetize more than 300 Bleav shows.

Bleav network podcasts can be found on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, and Google Podcasts, among other platforms. Bleav video shows can be found on Bleav’s two FAST television channels – Bleav Sports and Bleav Football – across YouTube and a myriad of other distributors.

“Bleav has created a broad and deep well of programming for sports fans, with content from virtually every professional and major college team in America,” said Suzanne Grimes, EVP Marketing at Cumulus Media and President of Westwood One. “Listeners and advertisers alike turn to Westwood One for the very best sports programming, so it is a natural fit for us to partner with Bleav and offer our advertisers access to this extensive podcast portfolio.”

“Bleav is thrilled to announce our partnership with Cumulus/Westwood One, an industry leading, audio-first media company,” said Bleav President Eric Weinberger. “We are eager to embark on this journey together as we continue to empower our creators and remain on the cutting edge of athlete-driven content.”

About Cumulus Media

Cumulus Media is an audio-first media company delivering premium content to over a quarter billion people every month – wherever and whenever they want it. Cumulus Media engages with listeners with high-quality local programming through 405 owned-and-operated radio stations across 85 markets; delivers nationally-syndicated sports, news, talk, and entertainment programming from iconic brands including the NFL, the NCAA, the Masters, CNN, the AP, the Academy of Country Music Awards, and many other world-class partners across more than 9,400 affiliated stations through Westwood One.  For more information visit

About Bleav

Bleav is a sports and entertainment omni channel production company and the #1 content network for professionals. Bleav specializes in producing premium, digital sports and pop culture content for all passionate fanbases. With more than 500 shows, the Bleav network features over 800 hosts, including 175 processional athletes that produce more than 1,000 hours of original audio and video content per month. Our content can be heard, watched, and read across your favorite podcast, audio, video, FAST channel, streaming, digital and social media platforms. Bleav Football is the first-of-its-kind, free, 24/7 channel dedicated to football. Bleav was founded by former professional athlete Born Heussenstamm.

Cumulus Media Names Lisa Waks Senior Vice President

Cumulus Media announced that Lisa Waks has joined the company as Senior Vice President, Digital Partnerships and Business Development, leading Cumulus Podcast Network’s content acquisition strategy and content pipeline development, with a focus on personality-driven brand franchises in the News; Business, Money & Tech; Sports; and Entertainment verticals. Waks reports to Suzanne Grimes, President, Westwood One and EVP, Corporate Marketing, Cumulus Media, who oversees the Cumulus Podcast Network.

Waks brings more than two decades of expertise in building revenue streams through strategic partnerships and new product development. As a pioneer in the digital video space, she is responsible for developing multi-platform opportunities across print, TV, experiential, and audio.

Before joining Cumulus Media, Waks was Head of Global Media Partnerships, Strategy, and Operations for TED Conferences, where she expanded their digital business, streamlined operations, and launched the TED Audio Collective. She previously spent nearly 15 years with Scripps Network Interactive (now part of Warner Bros. Discovery) where she developed cross platform revenue streams and new business ventures including the launch of a video lifestyle website and network. Waks began her career at Condé Nast with the inception of their web properties.

“Lisa is a trailblazer who has spent years creating new businesses, building new revenue streams, and forging successful and enduring partnerships,” said Grimes. “We are excited for her to bring this fire and focus to Cumulus to help us continue to expand the Cumulus Podcast Network with innovative, interesting, and unique content that is craved by listeners and partners alike.”

“I am thrilled to begin the next chapter in my career with such a long-standing and prestigious organization. Cumulus is best-in-class, leading the audio industry with a wide range of voices and premium content,” added Waks. “I believe in the power of the spoken word, and through smart collaborations we will successfully deepen connections and community.”

Cumulus Media and The Bulwark form Partnership for Podcasts

Cumulus Media announced that podcasts from political news and analysis network The Bulwark have joined the Cumulus Podcast Network. Under the terms of the agreement, Cumulus monetizes all existing and forthcoming podcasts from The Bulwark, a first for The Bulwark shows.

Cumulus also markets and distributes the podcasts, which include The Bulwark Podcast, Beg to Differ with Mona Charen, The Focus Group with Sarah Longwell, and The Bulwark Goes to Hollywood. The podcasts are available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, Pocket Casts, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, and Pandora, among other platforms.

“The Bulwark is committed to building a home for the politically untethered through smart political analysis free from tribal loyalties. Our partnership with Cumulus Media will enable The Bulwark to build on its strong audience growth over the past three years,” said Bulwark publisher Sarah Longwell. “Cumulus is first class in political podcast advertising and we’re extremely excited to begin this partnership.”

“The Bulwark team has spent years questioning and challenging political assumptions,” said Suzanne Grimes, Executive Vice President Corporate Marketing, Cumulus Media and President, Westwood One. “As we enter what is sure to be one of the most closely watched election cycles, The Bulwark will provide much for our listeners to absorb and ponder.”

The Bulwark podcast roster includes:

The Bulwark Podcast: Charlie Sykes and guests discuss the latest news from inside Washington and around the world. No shouting, grandstanding, or sloganeering. Conservative, conscientious, and civil.
From: The Bulwark
Hosted by: Megaphone

Beg to Differ with Mona Charen: Host Mona Charen is joined by Linda Chavez of the Niskanen Center, Bill Galston of the Brookings Institution, and Damon Linker of The Week in a weekly roundtable discussion of the week’s news in a respectful, rational forum.
From: The Bulwark
Hosted by: Megaphone

The Focus Group with Sarah Longwell: The Bulwark Unfiltered publisher Sarah Longwell, who has conducted hundreds of hours of focus groups all across the country, takes an unfiltered, uncompromising, unexpected look into what the average voter thinks about politics, policy, and current events.
From: The Bulwark
Hosted by: Megaphone

The Bulwark Goes to Hollywood: Host Sonny Bunch interviews folks who have their finger on the pulse of the entertainment industry during this dynamic – and difficult – time.
From: Sonny Bunch
Hosted by: Megaphone

Cumulus Media and Signal Hill Insights Report Reveals Latest Podcast Trends

Cumulus Media, in partnership with Signal Hill Insights, released Cumulus Media and Signal Hill Insights’ Podcast Download – Fall 2021 Report, a comprehensive evaluation incorporating several new studies that examine podcast audience and advertiser trends over the past five years.

The several edition of the study that examines weekly podcast listeners is part of Cumulus Media’s commitment to share insights and research findings with the podcast community. Topics covered in the Podcast Download Report include usage, content, social audio and advertising trends.

“Our new Podcast Download Report uncovers a major opportunity for brand marketers,” said Suzanne Grimes, EVP, Marketing for Cumulus Media and President, Westwood One. “With this new report, we can now prove podcast advertising reaches tens of millions of younger consumers who have abandoned linear television for advertising-free video streaming services.”

“Spotify has now become the number one listening source for podcasts in the U.S. The sands are shifting under our feet,” said Jeff Vidler, President and Founder of Signal Hill Insights. “The big three podcast listening oligarchy – YouTube, Apple Podcasts, and Spotify – now have a 63% listening share, up from 55% in 2019.”

The Fall edition reveals valuable insights for content creators and advertisers. Some highlights from the report:

Podcast listeners are heavy users of ad-free video streaming. As two out of five weekly podcast listeners are cord cutters and only watch ad-free video streaming.

Women ascend: Podcast newcomers who started listening last year are more likely to be women. 60% of those who began listening to podcasts in the last year are women. Women represent 43% of the audience who began listening to podcasts four or more years ago, the podcast pioneers.

Podcast content preferences differ significantly by gender and demographic. Of the top five most-listened-to podcast genres among men and women, there are just two types of podcasts (Comedy and News/Current Events) in common. Among men, the top five content genres also include Sports, Technology, and Business. Among women, their top podcast genres include Storytelling/Drama/True Crime, Entertainment/Pop Culture, and Education.

Social audio is no longer a one-brand category. Six social audio apps have similar usage and awareness. Facebook Live Audio Rooms, Twitter Spaces, Clubhouse, Discord Stage Channels, Reddit Talk, and Spotify Greenroom each have been listened to by 17% – 19% of the weekly podcast audience.

Podcast platform wars: Spotify is now the leading listening destination as the big three podcast tuning oligarchy (Apple Podcasts, YouTube, and Spotify) expand share. When asked which platform they listen to the most to access podcasts, 24% say Spotify, followed by Apple Podcasts (20%) and YouTube (19%). In two years, the combined share of the big three has grown from 55% to 63%.

Podcast advertising consideration, intention, and usage at all-time highs according to a November 2021 Advertiser Perceptions study of 300 media agencies and marketers. 45% of brands and agencies say they are currently advertising in podcasts, up from 34% in 2020.

The greater the podcast listenership, the more podcast ads generate consumer response and business outcomes. Host-read ads continue to be the most preferred, especially among women. As a result of hearing a podcast ad, heavy podcast listeners (those who listen 6+ hours per week) are more likely to have searched online for a product, made a purchase, used a promo code, or followed a brand on social media.

Cumulus Media and Signal Hill Insights’ Podcast Download – Fall 2021 Report is available in full for download at

New Report Finds Podcast Listening Bolstered by Pandemic

CUMULUS MEDIA, in partnership with Signal Hill Insights, released CUMULUS MEDIA and Signal Hill Insights’ Podcast Download – Spring 2021 Report, a comprehensive evaluation incorporating several studies that examine podcast audience and advertiser trends over the past five years.

The sixth installment of the study was released to coincide with the IAB Podcast Upfront as part of CUMULUS MEDIA’s commitment to share and research findings with the podcast community. Topics covered in the Podcast Download Report include usage trends, content trends, and advertising trends, all of which evolved during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Spring 2021 edition reveals valuable insights for content creators and advertisers. Some highlights from the report:

  • The pandemic was a podcast listening accelerant: Among weekly podcast listeners, the COVID-19 pandemic was a catalyst for increased podcast listening. In March 2021, 53% of weekly listeners reported spending more time with podcasts since the pandemic, up +29% from July 2020 (41%).
  • Genre exploration: Regular listenership is growing across most podcast genres, suggesting that weekly podcast listeners are venturing out and listening to new genres.
  • Eager audience with about 1 in 2 tuning in on episode drop day: Weekly podcast listeners are enthusiastic about their favorite podcasts. 46% reported listening to their favorite podcast within a day of its release.
  • Pitching ad-free podcast subscriptions won’t win over listeners: Content is the main attraction for weekly podcast listeners. When choosing podcast subscription features, weekly listeners will pick exclusive content over an ad-free experience.
  • Clubhouse is a natural brand extension for podcast shows and hosts: Awareness and usage of Clubhouse over-indexes among weekly podcast listeners versus the total U.S. general population. When asked, the majority of weekly listeners who are aware of Clubhouse agree that the app would be a good fit for their favorite podcast show or host.
  • Platforms have exploded while the big three still dominate: Weekly podcast listeners are accessing their podcasts on more platforms. Still, Apple, Spotify, and YouTube have a strong hold on being the most used podcast platforms and continue to grow at the expense of other competitors.
  • Unique need state fulfillment: Podcasts are unique, being one of the few mediums where listeners come for entertainment and learning, cultivating an engaged audience.
  • Listeners feel podcasts are under-commercialized: Weekly podcast listeners are comfortable hearing ads and the more time they spend with podcasts, the more ads they will accept.
  • High CPMs warranted: Podcasts have the greatest ad attentiveness compared to other media.