The collaboration furthers Smith’s commitment to providing a platform for personalities whose perspectives shape compelling conversation around sports, society and culture
The new audio network welcomes popular podcast “Comeback Stories” to its debut lineup with new original shows set to quickly follow
New York – August 3, 2023 – Inflection Network (IN), an innovative new sports podcast network from renowned sports journalist Michael Smith and veteran entertainment attorney Terrence Williams, proudly announces its official launch in collaboration with iHeartMedia’s iHeartPodcasts, the No. 1 podcast publisher globally according to Podtrac. The new podcast network will debut with season three of listener favorite “Comeback Stories” beginning today, with new originals joining the slate soon.
"We are thrilled to embark on this new journey with iHeartPodcasts," said Terrence Williams, co-founder, along with Smith, of Inflection Point Entertainment, the duo’s media production company and IN’s parent company. "With the help of iHeart’s unmatched expertise and platform, we are building a robust content slate and what I believe will be an enjoyable and unique listening experience."
Together with iHeartPodcasts, Inflection Network will develop and produce original audio content. IN’s strategic distribution and marketing partnership with iHeart promises to bring captivating conversations to a broad audience.
“IN’s approach is guided by inspiring and transformative power-rich storytelling and authentic, entertaining and thought-provoking conversation," Smith said. "We want to elevate and empower creatives; amplify diverse voices and perspectives; and enlighten, entertain and engage our audience. At IN our mantra is, ‘Louder for the folks in the back!’“
“Comeback Stories,” hosted by New York Giants tight end Darren Waller and mental health and mindfulness coach Donny Starkins, will join the new podcast network starting today with the debut of a new third season. The show will continue to spotlight real-life tales of resiliency including insight into the hosts’ ongoing recovery journeys and interviews with guests whose stories illustrate a broad spectrum of “comeback” stories.
“We partnered with Inflection Network because they saw our potential and how intentional we are in our mission of impacting others,” Waller said. “Our work aligns directly with IN's vision statement.”
Later this month, just in time for the kickoff of the 2023 football season, Inflection Network will debut a new original fantasy football podcast: “Michael Smith presents … The Dynasty Exchange.” Hosted by dynasty diehards Dylan Egloff, Davis Nuaimi and Josh Walsh, the show will also feature regular appearances from longtime football analyst and fantasy football legend Smith. With new episodes available every Tuesday and Friday, “Michael Smith presents … The Dynasty Exchange” will deliver dynasty team owners the fantasy football insight, tips and strategies they need to stay ahead of the game when it comes to building and sustaining perennial championship contenders.
Additionally, Inflection Network will soon expand its existing slate with projects from esteemed sports personalities including Ibtihaj Muhamma, entrepreneur, activist, New York Times’ Best-Selling Author and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist in fencing who in 2016 became widely known for being the first American woman to compete in the Olympics in hijab; LoLo Jones, world-champion hurdler and bobsledder, and one of the few athletes to compete in a Summer and Winter Olympics; and Spencer Paysinger, seven-year NFL veteran, Super Bowl XLVI champion and producer of CW’s hit series “All-American” (loosely based on his life) alongside his Moore Street Productions partner Dane Morck (coproducer, “All-American.”)
Inflection Network will be led by Charita Johnson, a two-time Emmy Award-winning sports media executive who spent 26 years at ESPN and in 2011 developed and produced Smith’s groundbreaking “His & Hers” podcast. Her creativity, editorial judgment, and entrepreneurial prowess were among the many reasons Smith was adamant that she be the foundational member of the IN team. “She’s the backbone of this initiative,” Williams said.
“Standing up this portfolio of podcasts has been extremely rewarding,” Johnson said. “I’ve been intentional about who and what deserves to be under the IN umbrella. The stories that we’re telling reflect the audience we wish to attract. I’m really proud that there’s something for everyone.”
The Inflection Network is distributed by iHeartPodcasts. All shows will be available on the iHeartRadio app and everywhere podcasts are heard. These shows join Michael Smith’s existing shows in collaboration with NBC Sports including “Brother From Another” on Peacock and Smith’s new solo NBC Sports podcast project, “My Main Man Michael Smith.”
About Inflection Point Entertainment
Inflection Point Entertainment is a multimedia company that tells the stories of inflections within the journeys of individuals, institutions, and industries. IPE’s scripted and unscripted content spans and converges the worlds of television, radio, podcasts, shorts, feature-length films - the full gamut of what you want to and need to see.
About Michael Smith
One of sports media’s most respected, versatile, and accomplished storytellers, Michael is the co-founder of the California- and Connecticut-based content studio, Inflection Point Entertainment. Since 2020, he’s been a host and commentator for NBC Sports, serving as co-host and executive producer of the sports, current events, and culture show Brother From Another on Peacock as well as the NBC Audio podcast My Main Man Michael Smith, and contributed to NBC’s pregame coverage of Super Bowl LVI. Previously, over 15 years at ESPN, Michael served as a reporter, commentator, host, and anchor. He began his time in Bristol as an NFL insider and E:60 correspondent, before going on to co-host his own daily talk show, His & Hers, and co-anchoring SportsCenter. Prior to joining ESPN, Michael was a reporter for The Boston Globe, serving as the paper’s NFL and New England Patriots beat writer. Smith began his career while a student at Loyola University in his hometown of New Orleans. He received his B.S. in mass communication from Loyola in 2001.
About Terrence Williams
Co-founder of Inflection Point Entertainment, Terrence Williams began his career working in legal affairs for Fox Broadcasting after graduating from Pepperdine School of Law. He works as an entertainment lawyer for various high profile production companies, entertainers, and musicians. In 2013, he launched a professional Arena Football League team in his hometown of Muskegon, Michigan, later selling the team in 2018. His producing/directorial debut came in 2019 for Deborah Joy Winans’s music video for “When I Rose” for Lionsgate in season four of the hit OWN series, “Greenleaf.” Williams produced the award-winning short film “Last Words” in 2019 and two seasons of the digital holiday show “Holiday A.F.” Williams established a non-profit organization in Michigan using sports and entertainment as a vector toward higher education and community growth.
About Charita Johnson
A media executive with nearly three decades of experience, including stints at ESPN (VP, Production), Peloton (VP, Content and Creative Strategy), NASCAR, and now as Inflection Network’s Head of Content, Johnson is also the founder and CEO of Johnson Bridge Media, a boutique talent representation agency that also develops and executes content strategies for media organizations and multi-platforms channels.