iHeartRadio Announced New Slate of Original Podcasts

iHeartRadio announced a slate of new iHeartRadio Original Podcasts. Launching one new show per month this year, the podcasts will shine a light on the curious tales, historical oddities and stranger-than-fiction true stories that are often left out of history books.

iHeartMedia has continued to invest heavily in podcasting, from acquiring HowStuffWorks in 2018 to producing an ongoing slate of more than 750 iHeartRadio Original shows like The Ron Burgundy Podcast; Fake Doctors, Real Friends; You and Me Both with Hillary Clinton; among others. These shows and more are distributed by the iHeartPodcast Network and are available on iHeartRadio and all major podcast platforms.

“We are excited to share our newest slate of iHeartRadio Original Podcasts focused on the curious true stories left out of history books,” said Jason English, Lead Executive Producer of iHeartRadio Original Podcasts. “This spring you can spend time with the Black cowboys who found freedom on the high plains after the Civil War; get a first-person account of the most insane government project in American history; and meet desperate World War I veterans who camped outside the White House for months during the Great Depression.”

The first fascinating historical podcast in the slate, Black Cowboys, available now, tells the story of what freedom looked like for Black Americans after the Civil War. The podcast shares a more honest version of the settling of the Wild West and shines a light on the one-in-four cowboys who were Black.

Upcoming podcasts include Operation Midnight Climax, which details the stranger-than-fiction events that took place at a CIA-run brothel in the 1950s; The White House Coup, which chronicles a club of powerful Wall Street millionaires in a plot to overthrow President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR); and other little-known odd histories of historical figures and events.

Black Cowboys – Available Now

Host Zaron Burnett’s father didn’t want slavery to be his son’s dominant image of Black people in American history. So every night, he filled Zaron’s dreams with these incredible stories of Black cowboys. Despite what Hollywood traditionally has shown, one in four cowboys in the American West were Black and their stories tell a bigger, braver, more honest history of America. Black Cowboys is written and hosted by Aaron Burnett, with special guest appearances by his father.

Operation Midnight Climax – Launched March 17

Host Noel Brown details the insane true story of a secret Cold War project as it spins out of control. George Hunter White operated a CIA brothel in the 1950s where, as part of the mission, sex workers were hired to lure patrons to a safe house to be dosed with LSD and observed from behind a two-way mirror. White’s experiments didn’t end there – enemies of the state, strangers on the street, and even his own friends became unwitting targets – because the fate of the nation depended on it. Operation Midnight Climax is written by Jake Rossen, whose most recent book “Action Park” The Untold Story of America’s Most Dangerous Amusement Park” is being developed for a TV series.

The White House Coup – Launching this April

Ben Bowlin will host this limited series podcast centered around one of the great untold stories in American history. In 1934, a decorated Marine Corps Major General named Smedley Butler came to Congress with explosive allegations: a powerful cabal of Wall Street millionaires was plotting to overthrow FDR and wanted Butler to lead a half-a-million-strong army of veterans in the coup. After the fact, mainstream media started calling the whole thing a hoax – but is it possible the plot got a lot closer than the public realized? The White House Coup is written by investigative journalist Alex French, whose work has appeared in Vanity Fair, Esquire, GQ, New York Magazine, and This American Life.

iHeartMedia and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Partner for Hall of Fame Vault

iHeartMedia announced an exclusive podcast partnership with Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The first episode of the iHeartRadio Original series Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Vault debuted on November 6, 2020, the day before the 35th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony airing on November 7 on HBO. Fans can listen now to the iHeartRadio App and everywhere podcasts are heard.

The series, which covers iconic induction speeches, from artists ranging from Rock, Hip Hop, Country and Pop, launched with The Beatles inducted by Mick Jagger, N.W.A. inducted by Kendrick Lamar, The Eagles inducted by Jimmy Buffet, and Stevie Nicks inducted by Harry Styles. New episodes will premiere every Friday through the end of the year. A 2nd season will premiere in early 2021.

“Each year, rock’s highest honor, Induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, is bestowed upon a handful of artists, cementing their legacy for eternity. That night, they are celebrated by their peers and contemporary artists they have influenced. All share mutual admiration for these legends, who have dedicated their lives to rock & roll,” said Greg Harris, President & CEO, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

“Over the past 35 years, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction ceremonies have become renowned for their impassioned and sometimes outrageous acceptance speeches,” said Conal Byrne, President of the iHeartPodcast Network for iHeartMedia. “We’re thrilled to bring the most iconic moments of past and present music infamy to fans around the world and continue to share what’s made the event special in the past and for years to come.”

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Vault podcast series will include speeches from the following presenters and inductees:

  • Stevie Nicks & Harry Styles
  • The Beatles & Mick Jagger
  • N.W.A. & Kendrick Lamar
  • The Eagles & Jimmy Buffet
  • Queen & Dave Grohl & Taylor Hawkins of the Foo Fighters
  • Prince & Alicia Keys & Outcast
  • Stevie Wonder & Paul Simon
  • Joan Jett & The Blackhearts & Miley Cyrus
  • Janet Jackson & Janelle Monae
  • Bruce Springsteen & Bono
  • Tupac Shakur & Snoop Dog
  • Jackson 5 & Diana Ross
  • The Cure & Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails
  • Bonnie Raitt & Melissa Etheridge
  • The Staple Singers & Lauryn Hill
  • Pearl Jam & David Letterman
  • Joan Baez & Jackson Browne
  • Metallica & Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Gladys Knight & The Pips & Mariah Carey
  • The Moody Blues & Ann Wilson of Heart

Tongal and iHeartRadio Seek The Next Great Podcast

Tongal and iHeartRadio are on the hunt for The Next Great Podcast, and they want to pump your show into earbuds all across the globe! Submit your pitch for a chance to develop and launch a show on The iHeartPodcast Network, funded by iHeartRadio. Submissions are due by noon PT on August 27, 2020.

Here are some of the details you should know before you submit a podcast:

  • Your podcast can be about any topic and in any format. Submissions can come from anywhere in the world.
  • A panel of judged will select 10 semi-finalists to record 10-minute pilot episodes
  • Fans all over the globe will vote for their favorite podcasts
  • Up to (10) semi-finalists will be awarded $1,000 towards the production of a 10-minute pilot episode of their podcast
  • One (1) grand prize winner will receive a special interview with Dan Patrick and will work closely with iHeartRadio to develop their idea into a podcast series, to be distributed by the iHeartPodcast Network.

There is a Submit button on The Next Great Podcast website for podcasters to click on for more information.

Here is what else you need to know:

  • Participants must be thirteen years or older at the time if entry.
  • Podcasts must be in the English language or subtitled.
  • Preferred format for upload to the Tongal website is .wav, .mp4, or, if your audio is in a video container, HD 720p 16×9. Acceptable file formats are .wav, mp4, .mov, .avi, .mp4, or .wmv.
  • Submissions cannot contain any profanity, offensive language, nudity, or otherwise objectionable material, the determination of which is solely at the discretion of the sponsor.
  • Submissions may not portray Sponsor in a negative way, the determination of which will solely reside with the Sponsor.

There is a section of the information that was posted in all caps and in red. It says:

“By submitting a podcast entry, your submission immediately becomes the sole property of Tongal or its assignees – see official rules for more details about ownership of entries. You may not publicly share or publish your submission in any manner and you may not post or upload your submission to any website or video hosting site (including, but not limited to, Facebook, YouTube or Vimeo), without the prior express written consent of Tongal. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in disqualification of your entry in the project.”

Spit is a Podcast About DNA Testing

Spit is among iHeartRadio’s newest podcasts. It is from 23andMe, a company that makes direct-to-consumer DNA tests. Genealogists take these kinds of DNA tests in order to find out more about their ancestry as well as the health related information found in their DNA.

Spit is an iHeartRadio podcast with 23andMe where host Baratunde Thursdon sits down with the most interesting cultural influencers of our time to explore how DNA testing gives us a new perspective on who we are and how we are all connected.

For those who are unaware, the name of the podcast relates to how 23andMe’s DNA test kits work. The participant fills a vial with some of their saliva (also called “spit”). That sample is used by researchers who extract the person’s DNA from the cells in their saliva sample. The genetic data is then analyzed, and the person will receive a report about what was found.

At the time I am writing this blog post, one trailer and four episodes of Spit have been released. Episode one features John Legend and Anne Wojcicki. Episode two features Wyclef Jean and Alven Tillery. Episode three features Melissa Etheridge and Sara Lamm, and episode four (the most recent episode) features Pete Wentz and Dr. Green.

Each episode delves in to interesting topics and concepts relating to genealogy and genetic testing. Some topics include:

  • How Are We All Related
  • What Does it Mean to Be “Family”
  • Does Race Really Exist or Did We Create It?

The 23andMe blog that talks about Spit says that more episodes are to come. I think this podcast will be popular with genealogists, family historians, and people who took one of 23andMe’s DNA tests. It was smart of them to include famous people in the episodes because that will attract listeners who aren’t especially interested in DNA testing.

Nashville Podcast Network Comes to iHeartRadio

Earlier this month, iHeartMedia announced that iHeartMedia’s syndicated radio host Bobby Bones will bring his newly launched Nashville Podcast Network to iHeartRadio’s listeners. This adds seven featured podcasts to iHeartRadio.

Nashville Podcast Network is a podcast network from Bobby Bones that gives listeners an inside look at the lifestyle, music, and pop culture of Nashville, Tennessee. Bobby Bones has a nationally syndicated show called Bobby Bones Show. He also is an author and part of The Raging Idiots (a comedy band.)

The newly featured podcasts are:

BobbyCast – A podcast where Bobby Bones talks openly about anything and everything. He records the podcast from the comfort of his home where he brings in guests to chat on big, comfy, chairs.

Velvet’s Edge with Kelly Henderson – A podcast based on the Velvet’s Edge website (which was founded by Kelly Henderson). The podcast features fashion, beauty, lifestyle, and travel.

The Frontline Generation with Marjorie K. Eastman – A podcast by award-winning author Marjorie K. Eastman who was a combat veteran. The podcast includes interviews with frontline leaders, including first responders, veterans, law enforcement, and philanthropists.

Good Company with Jake Owen – Jake Owen is a country music star. His newest album is called American Love, and the single is called “Good Company.” In his podcast, he shares the good and bad sides of being a country music superstar.

Whiskey Riff Raff – is hosted by Steve Gazibara and Wes Langeler. They give an unfiltered and unapologetic take on country music.

Geeking Out with Kristian Bush – Features host Kristian Bush (whom you may recognize as one half of Sugarland.) He invites guests and asks them what they’re geeking out over in pop music right now.

BoBo and Mikey – is a podcast for children ages four to eight. The podcast features two larger-than-life characters, Bobo and Mikey. Each episode will include an educational lesson with the fun feel of listening to a cartoon.

AudioBoom Partners with iHeartRadio and Spike TV

AudioBoom announced two strategic partnerships – with iHeartRadio and with Spike TV – demonstrating the company’s continued growth and focus to provide users with the ability to make content far-reaching, as well as deliver interesting and engaging audio content.

Through its collaboration with iHeartRadio, iHeartMedia’s all-in-one digital music, podcasting, and live-streaming radio service, podcasters who use audioBoom’s platform to host and distribute on-demand audio content will now have the option to reach iHeartRadio’s 95 million registered users.This partnership will provide an avenue for increased visibility, as well as audience and revenue growth.

Separately, through its branded content partnership with Spike TV, audioBoom is producing a roundtable podcast discussion dedicated to Spike TV’s upcoming six-part series, “TIME: The Kalief Browder Story,” featuring the hosts from popular true crimes podcasts including Undisclosed, Up & Vanished, Truth & Justice and Actual Innocence.

Two New Hires at iHeartMedia

iheartmedia-logoEarlier this month, iHeartMedia hired two people to fill important positions at iHeartRadio. They now have a new senior VP of Marketing and a new VP of Podcasting.

Beth Murphy has been hired as Senior Vice President of Marketing.  Previously, she was the the chief marketing officer at Deezer, a Paris-based music service, from August of 2014 through February of 2016, and the CMO at Stitcher (which was acquired by Deezer in October of 2014). She managed international marketing and B2B efforts for both streaming services.

Chris Peterson has been hired as Senior Vice President of Podcasting. He will oversee iHeartRadio’s overall podcast strategy and grow its profile in the community. Chris Peterson was previously at TuneIn, which is a competitor to iHeartRadio in the radio aggregation business. He was Content Partnership Manager at TuneIn. Chris Peterson was also the Director of Operations for Glenn Beck’s The Blaze network.


NPR Partners with iHeartRadio for Distribution

NPR logoNPR and iHeartMedia announced an agreement that will allow NPR’s Member stations to make their live News Talk programing available via iHeartRadio. This partnership enables NPR’s Member stations to get more distribution, and adds content to iHeartRadio.

The agreement allows more than 260 NPR Member stations to have the opportunity to stream their live programing on iHeartRadio, which is available across more than 80 unique device platforms including in-home entertainment, wearables, gaming consoles, enhanced audio dashboards, and more. iHeartRadio has over a billion app downloads, more than 85 million registered users and its network reaches more than 85 million social followers.

Put that all together, and the partnership gives NPR Member stations the ability to reach millions of new listeners worldwide. Part of the agreement is that all NPR Member stations that join iHeartRadio will have access to 50% of their individual iHeartRadio landing page’s digital banner inventory to encourage listeners to donate and directly support the station’s public programing.

Public radio fans can visit iHeartRadio.com to check out all available News Talk programing. iHeartRadio offers instant access to thousands of live radio stations from across the country, custom artist stations from a catalog of more than 24 million songs and 830,000 artists, on-demand podcasts and a feature called “My Favorites Radio”, which combines all of a listener’s favorite artist and thumbed up songs in one station.

Libsyn Partners with iHeartRadio

Libsyn logoLibsyn announced at Podcast Movement 2016 that they have partnered with iHeartRadio. The addition of iHeartRadio, iHeartMedia’s digital music and streaming radio service with more than 85 million registered users, will expand Libsyn’s podcast distribution and audience reach. The agreement with iHeartRadio adds an industry leading digital media directory to the Libsyn publishing offering.

Additionally, iHeartRadio has more than 85 million social media followers across their network and the iHeartRadio app has been dowloaded more than a billion times. iHeartRadio’s expanded reach will enable podcast producers to attract a new large pool of listeners to their podcast content and grow their show audience.

The agreement with iHeartRadio adds an industry leading digital media directory to the Libsyn publishing offering. Libsyn has recently announced the addition of Google Play Music and Spotify, along with other publishing destinations including iTunes, Twitter, and Facebook, for a total of 20 different publishing destinations available to podcast producers.

iHeartRadio points out that the partnership with Libsyn means that thousands of new podcasts will soon be available on the iHeartRadio podcast platform, which already features thousands of shows and original programs.