NEW YORK – November 13, 2018 – iHeartMedia, the No. 1 commercial podcast publisher globally with over 20,000 podcasts available on its platform, announced today that NPR will be honored with the first-ever iHeartRadio Podcast Pioneer Award at its inaugural iHeartRadio Podcast Awards Presented By Capital One® on January 18, 2019 at 8 p.m. PT at the iHeartRadio Theater Los Angeles.
iHeartRadio will recognize NPR as a driving, innovative force in the creation of the podcasting industry and will pay tribute to the renowned non-profit multimedia organization’s groundbreaking contributions to podcasting’s expanding role in today’s popular culture. NPR launched its first digital-only podcasting predecessor, “All Songs Considered,” in April 2000 and officially debuted NPR Podcasts in August 2005 with a full slate of 174 programs, including 17 original podcasts. In less than a year, they reached 13 million downloads for all of their podcast programming and reached more than 80 million downloads by February 2007. Today, NPR remains a leading podcasting publisher with over 40 active podcasts on topics ranging from the day’s news to arts, culture, and science, that reach a unique monthly audience of 16,386,000 (per podtrac).
“When we decided to honor the biggest names in podcasting with our first awards show for podcasts, we knew we wanted to recognize NPR’s unparalleled impact on how millions of listeners consume audio content,” said Conal Byrne, President of the iHeartPodcast Network. “We’re thrilled to be able to honor their trailblazing efforts with our first-ever iHeartRadio Podcast Pioneer Award in January.”
“We are honored to receive the Podcast Pioneer Award. Podcasts have been a major source of innovation for NPR,” said Anya Grundmann, Senior Vice President for Programming and Audience Development at NPR. “They have given our reporters the chance to flex their storytelling muscles, pursue creative ideas and longer stories, and play with form in ways not always possible on a daily show. They have also helped us connect with listeners in new ways and helped us evolve our sound.”
The iHeartRadio Podcast Awards Presented By Capital One®, voted by the listeners to honor the very best in podcasting, will span 22 categories and will celebrate the incredible talent and wide variety of leaders across the booming podcasting industry.
Hosted by Holly Frey, co-host of “Stuff You Missed in History Class,” one of today’s biggest history podcasts; Charlamagne Tha God, nationally-syndicated on-air host and co-host of “The Brilliant Idiots” and “The Breakfast Club” podcasts; and Bobby Bones, top Country radio host, multiplatform personality and host of the leading Country music focused podcast “Bobbycast” and creator of the Nashville Podcast Network, the event will run 90 minutes and will include a live audience with a live stream hosted by on-air and TV personality Mario Lopez. Presenters include Payne Lindsay (“Up & Vanished”), Aaron Mahnke (“Lore”), and Jake Brennan (“Disgraceland”), with more to be announced.
The iHeartRadio Podcast Awards Presented By Capital One® will honor the most entertaining and innovative podcasts of 2018 as well as celebrate podcast fans by giving listeners the opportunity to decide the winners in 17 of the 22 categories.
A panel of blue-ribbon podcast industry leaders, creatives and visionaries including Marc Smerling, “Crimetown”; Jake Brennan, “Disgraceland”; Jody Avirgan, ESPN “30 for 30”; Anna Hossnieh and Shereen Lani Younes, “Ethnically Ambiguous”; Alex Blumberg, Gimlet; Conal Byrne and Chris Peterson, iHeartMedia; Aaron Mahnke, “Lore”; Anya Grundmann, NPR; Max Cutler, Parcast; Owen Grover, Pocket Casts; Maggie Taylor, PRX; Chuck Bryant and Josh Clark, “Stuff You Should Know”; Holly Frey, “Stuff You Missed in History Class”; Donald Albright and Payne Lindsay, Tenderfoot TV; Sim Sarna, Unqualified Media; and Hernan Lopez, Wondery will determine the winner in five major categories: Podcast of the Year, Breakout Podcast, Best Branded Podcast, Best Social Impact from Podcast/Host and Podcast Innovator Award.
Fans can vote for their favorite podcasts through January 6, 2019 online and socially across Twitter and Instagram. Visit iHeartPodcastAwards.com for a complete list of nominees and voting details. Winners will be announced during the live show and stream filled with unique celebrations at the iHeartRadio Theater Los Angeles.