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Tenderfoot TV, the studio behind the Up and Vanished podcast, has agreed to a multi-project deal with iHeartMedia.
Under the terms of the deal, Tenderfoot TV will create a slate of nine new original podcasts for the iHeartPodcast Network over the next two years. The slate will include limited series and weekly shows.
The deal expands on a pre-existing relationship between Tenderfoot TV and iHeartMedia. The companies teamed up in 2018 to serialize the Atlanta Monster podcast by looking at new high-profile serial killers in each season.
“iHeart has been an essential partner for Tenderfoot TV over the last several years,” Tenderfoot TV president Donald Albright said in a statement. “It was important to both of us that our next projects together explored important issues and brought new formats to the table, while still providing the storytelling experience our listeners expect. With the addition of real time, weekly formats, we’re able to amplify more stories than ever before, while sticking to our commitment of bringing forth real change in cases that have either been ignored or forgotten.”
The new deal kicks off with the second season of Sworn, a criminal justice podcast that explores major cases from the past. The new season explores racial bias in the criminal justice system by looking at the case of Calvin Johnson, who served 16 years for a crime he didn’t commit before becoming Georgia’s first exoneree. The new season debuted July 15 on iHeartRadio and other podcast platforms.
Tenderfoot also plans to launch The MLK Tapes, an investigative series from The RFK Tapes co-creator Bill Klaber that is set to premiere in January 2021. Also on the lineup is the next installment of the Monster series.
The company is expanding into weekly podcast series with co-producer iHeartRadio, including a show executive producer and hosted by Tenderfoot co-founder and Up and Vanished host Payne Lindsey. The not-yet-named show will cover a new case on each episode.
“In Tenderfoot TV, Donald Albright and Payne Lindsey have built one of the most innovative podcast studios out there — especially in the true crime space,” iHeartPodcast Network president Conal Byrne said in a statement. “iHeart and Tenderfoot have been in partnership for a long time together — from Atlanta Monster to Zodiac Killer to DC Sniper. We here at iHeart want to support creators like Tenderfoot however we can — and that means doubling down on a collaborative slate of incredible, new, groundbreaking shows, to redefine the true crime genre yet again.”
The iHeartPodcast Network has more than 750 originals, which are distributed across podcast platforms including the iHeartRadio app. The company says its shows have 215 million downloads each month. Four-year-old Tenderfoot TV says its shows have been downloaded more than 500 million times since its launch.