Hernan Lopez Launches Podcast Network After Leaving Fox International Channels

Hernan Lopez
Courtesy of Wondery

Fox is investing in Wondery, which will feature original, scripted and unscripted programming.

Hernan Lopez is launching a podcast network following his departure from Fox International Channels. 

Lopez on Wednesday said that his next venture is Wondery, an audio on-demand network that will create and curate original, scripted and unscripted programming. The reveal comes just two days after 21st Century Fox announced that he was stepping down as CEO of FIC in a reorganization. Fox will invest in the new venture. 

"Wondery gives me the ability to combine many things I know and love — storytelling, network and brand building and technology — in the fastest growing segment of on-demand consumption,” said Lopez, noting that Americans spend three-and-a-half hours with audio each day and that podcast consumption has grown more than 40 percent in the last two years. "This is the perfect timing to capture this opportunity, using some of the best practices that have transformed television over the last 10 years." 

Podcasts are a fast-growing medium, spurred by advancements in smartphones and the popularity of programs such as This American Life spinoff Serial, which is now in its second season. Today, nearly 50 million Americans list to podcasts each month.
 
Wondery is partnering with San Francisco technology company ART19, which will provide distribution infrastructure as well as advertising technology. 
 
"Hernan has an exceptional understanding of the ways in which new technologies allow companies to build media brands on a global scale, and we look forward to his success with this new venture," said Fox Networks Group CEO Peter Rice.
 
Lopez, who began his career in radio before rising up the ranks at Fox, added: "The sheer numbers, the desirable demographics and the intimate environment in which advertisers can engage with audiences make it clear that there is a compelling business opportunity here."
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