Variety Teams Up With iHeartMedia to Co-Produce and Relaunch "PLAYBACK With Kris Tapley" Podcast on iHeartRadio

New York and Los Angeles – March 1, 2018 – Variety, the most authoritative source for entertainment business news, and iHeartMedia, the leading audio company in America with a greater reach in the U.S. than any other media outlet, today announced a joint venture to co-produce PLAYBACK, a film-focused podcast hosted by Variety Awards Editor Kris Tapley, and relaunch the weekly podcast on iHeartRadio, the free all-in-one digital music, podcast and live streaming radio service. New PLAYBACK episodes will release every Thursday on iHeartRadio, featuring exclusive in-depth interviews with the talents behind many of today's hottest movies.

As part of the collaboration, Variety and iHeartMedia will co-produce a 40-episode season which kicks off today with heavy digital and social promotional support on both platforms. iHeartMedia will also produce custom vignettes that will air across its digital network and broadcast radio stations, introducing the podcast to its more than a quarter of a billion monthly listeners across the country. In anticipation of this weekend’s 90th Academy Awards ceremony, the first co-produced special edition episode of PLAYBACK features a compilation of Tapley’s “best of” interview moments with Academy Award nominees. Guest highlights include Jordan Peele, Daniel Kaluuya, Kumail Nanjiani, Dee Rees, James Mangold, Willem Dafoe, Christopher Nolan, Guillermo del Toro, Sam Rockwell, Martin McDonagh, Greta Gerwig and Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Gary Oldman, and Aaron Sorkin. Upcoming guests will also include Ava DuVernay on March 8 and David Oyelowo on March 15.

"Aligning ourselves with the premiere media and entertainment company with the largest audience reach across digital and radio provides a tremendous opportunity for Variety," said Michelle Sobrino-Stearns, Variety's Group Publisher and CRO. "It is exciting for us to bring our esteemed journalists like Kris Tapley to iHeartMedia’s mass consumer audience."

Tapley has covered the film industry and entertainment awards landscape since 2001. Formerly the editor-at-large for, his work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Times of London and Los Angeles Magazine. He also surveys the Oscar and Emmy seasons under his own "In Contention" banner at Variety.

“We are excited to partner with Variety to bring this top film-focused podcast to the masses just in time for the Oscars,” said Adrienne Pabst, Senior Vice President of Connections for iHeartMedia. “iHeartMedia delivers more hours of live programming than any other media company. Our listeners rely on and trust us for the latest information from news and sports to music, entertainment and gossip, making us the perfect platform to relaunch PLAYBACK’s engaging content to millions of listeners, many who are discovering podcasting for the first time.”

iHeartRadio, iHeartMedia’s free all-in-one digital music, podcasting and live streaming radio service, is dedicated to providing an all-in-one listening experience that helps users discover new podcasts alongside their favorite live radio stations, personalities and on-demand music.  With iHeartRadio, listeners can enjoy their music and podcasts across more than 230 device platforms including in-car, in-home, on wearables, across gaming consoles and more – making their favorite audio content available everywhere they are, on the devices they use most. Visit to download and listen to PLAYBACK your favorite device now.

About Variety
Variety remains the seminal voice of the entertainment industry for 113 years and counting. Featuring award-winning breaking news reporting, insightful award-season coverage, must-read feature spotlights and intelligent analysis of the industry’s most prominent players, Variety is the trusted source for the business of global entertainment. Read by a highly engaged audience of industry insiders, Variety’s multi-platform content coverage expands across digital, mobile, social, print and branded events and summits.

In 2015 and 2016 Variety’s “Actors on Actors” on PBS was awarded the Emmy for best entertainment programming at the Television Academy’s 67th and 68th Los Angeles area Emmy Awards. “Actors on Actors,” an interview special that features pairings of prominent actors discussing their craft, was produced by PBS SoCal in partnership with Variety Media, LLC. FollowVariety on Facebook; Twitter, @variety; Instagram, @Variety The Variety Group – Variety,, Variety Insight, Indiewire, LA 411, NY 411 – is owned by Variety Media, LLC, a division of Penske Media Corporation.


About iHeartMedia

iHeartMedia is the number one audio company in the United States, reaching nine out of 10 Americans every month – and with its quarter of a billion monthly listeners, has a greater reach than any other media company in the U.S. The company’s leadership position in audio extends across multiple platforms including 850 live broadcast stations; streaming music, radio and on demand via its iHeartRadio digital service available across more than 250 platforms and 2,000 devices including smart speakers, digital auto dashes, tablets, wearables, smartphones, virtual assistants, TVs and gaming consoles; through its influencers; social; branded iconic live music events; and podcasts as the #1 commercial podcast publisher globally. iHeartMedia also leads the audio industry in analytics and attribution technology for its marketing partners, using data from its massive consumer base. iHeartMedia is a division of iHeartMedia, Inc. (PINK: IHRTQ). Visit for more company information.