NEW YORK – December 23, 2019 – iHeartMedia, the No. 1 commercial podcast publisher globally, announced today the recipients of the three Icon Awards at the 2020 iHeartRadio Podcast Awards streaming live Friday, January 17 at 8 p.m. PT via a LiveXLive stream and on iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide from the iHeartRadio Theater Los Angeles. The second annual event will honor the New York Times’ “1619” podcast with the Social Impact Award, NPR’s “Life Kit” podcast with the Innovator Award Presented by Zoom and Tenderfoot TV’s Payne Lindsey and Donald Albright with the Audible Audio Pioneer Award.
The iHeartRadio Podcast Icon Awards pay tribute to the creators, organizations and podcasts that have made groundbreaking contributions to podcasting’s expanding role in today’s popular culture.
“We’re thrilled to honor ‘1619,’ ‘Life Kit’ and Tenderfoot TV as this year’s iHeartRadio Podcast Icon winners,” said Conal Byrne, President of the iHeartPodcast Network. “From history to true crime to everyday guidance, their work is as diverse as it is trailblazing, and they make it easy to understand why podcasts have become a must-listen for millions of people each and every day.”
The New York Times’ “1619” podcast, recipient of the 2020 iHeartRadio Podcast Social Impact Award, is a five-episode series that is part of a major initiative by the newspaper to observe the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery and reframe the history of the United States by understanding that 1619 was the nation’s true founding. The podcast series is hosted by Nikole Hannah-Jones, an award-winning journalist who serves as a domestic correspondent for The New York Times Magazine focusing on racial injustice.
The 2020 iHeartRadio Podcast Innovator Award Presented by Zoom winner, NPR’s “Life Kit,” provides listeners with practical information and guidance to help them improve their lives. Launched in December 2018, “Life Kit” is designed for search as it seeks to reach beginners and those with more knowledge on topics that include personal finance, health and wellness, and parenting. The podcast episodes are aggregated in topical playlists for deep dives. “Life Kit” is produced by NPR, which received the first-ever iHeartRadio Podcast Pioneer Award in 2019.
The 2020 iHeartRadio Podcast Audible Audio Pioneer Award recipients – director/independent filmmaker, Payne Lindsey, and music industry veteran, Donald Albright – paved the way for true crime podcasts. They launched Tenderfoot TV in 2016 with their first podcast, “Up and Vanished,” which showed that an aspiring filmmaker/musician could take an unsolved murder and turn it into a compelling story and hit podcast – with the alleged killer ultimately confessing due to the podcast investigation. The award-winning podcast has received over 330 million downloads and created the blueprint for Tenderfoot TV’s other No. 1 critically acclaimed podcasts, “Atlanta Monster,” “To Live and Die in LA,” “Culpable” and “Sworn.” “To Live and Die in LA,” which received 50 million downloads in 2019, was also named Podcast of the Year by the Associated Press. Since its launch in 2016, Tenderfoot TV has surpassed 500 million downloads as a company, including 185 million downloads in 2019 alone.
The 2020 iHeartRadio Podcast Awards will honor the most entertaining and innovative podcasts of 2019 and will span 30 categories, celebrating the incredible talent and wide variety of leaders across the booming podcasting industry. Nominees were announced on November 12 and include podcasts from all creators, distributors and platforms with a panel of blue-ribbon podcast industry leaders, creatives and visionaries determining the winners across categories including Music, Comedy, Crime, News, Sports & Recreation, Food, Business & Finance and more. Podcast fans themselves will once again decide the winner of the Best Podcast of the Year award through social voting on Twitter through January 10. Select category winners will be announced during the live show and stream filled with unique celebrations at the iHeartRadio Theater Los Angeles. For a full list of categories, visit iHeartPodcastAwards.com.
The 2020 iHeartRadio Podcast Awards is part of iHeartMedia’s roster of incredibly successful, nationally recognized events including the iHeartRadio Music Awards, the iHeartRadio Music Festival, the nationwide iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Concert Tour, iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina, iHeartCountry Festival, iHeartRadio ALTer Ego and iHeartRadio Wango Tango. Executive producers for the iHeartRadio Podcast Awards are John Sykes, Tom Poleman and Conal Byrne for iHeartMedia and Augie Max Vargas.