IHeartMedia has tapped Einhorn’s Epic Productions for a slate of original podcasts focused on the female YA audience.
The first project from the multi-show deal is political thriller Daughters of DC, which is set to be released in fall 2020 ahead of the presidential election. It’ll be distributed through the iHeartPodcast Network. Daughters of DC takes place at an elite Washington school where four friends share their deepest, darkest secrets on a private audio group chat. When the girls are hacked, they are thrust into a twisted government conspiracy that threatens to expose some of the world’s most powerful people.
The scripted slate will be overseen by EEP CEO Heather Einhorn, content chief Adam Staffaroni and Aroop Sanakkayala, as well as iHeart head of podcasting Conal Byrne. The deal comes on the heels of a partnership between the two companies on murder mystery Lethal Lit: A Tig Torres Mystery, which Dana Brunetti’s Cavalry Media is now adapting for television. The second season of Lethal Lit is in preproduction.
“At EEP, we’re all about creating the next generation of heroic, female characters and stories,” said Einhorn. “Given the current political climate, we think the time is right for a smart teen political thriller with diverse and dynamic female leads. Our synergy with iHeartMedia is unique, and we can’t wait to bring more original stories to the audience that fell in love with Lethal Lit.”
Added Byrne, “The Einhorn team is one of the strongest creative shops we’ve worked with in podcasting — and their goal is nothing less than building entire universes from scratch — like Marvel and DC have done in the past. What’s more, Einhorn’s aim is to accomplish this while staying laser-focused on a female young adult demo — with powerful new female heroes at the center of the stories. We think the potential there is massive, the mission is important, and wanted to support it in any way we could.”
IHeartMedia has made podcasting central to its business strategy, acquiring producer Stuff Media in 2018.
In other podcasting news:
– PRX has received a $1.6 million grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to develop TRAX, a network of original podcasts aimed at young listeners ages 9 to 13. TRAX, which will launch in 2020, will offer free, on-demand audio programming across genres and formats, including projects from Gen-Z Media, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., Cocotazo Media and some of the team behind Night Vale Presents. Producer Michelle Smawley is leading the project as executive producer.
– On Dec. 19, National Lampoon will debut a sketch comedy podcast, National Lampoon Radio Hour: The Podcast. The half-hour installments, which will be available exclusively on Spotify for three weeks before being distributed more widely, will feature emerging comedic talent including Cole Escola, Jo Firestone, Maeve Higgins and Lorelei Ramirez. Guest stars appearing throughout the season include Rachel Dratch, Amy Sedaris, Chris Gethard, Julie Klausner and Jordan Klepper. Spotify users will also have access to original content from the 1970s National Lampoon Radio Hour, which introduced audiences to Jim Belushi, Bill Murray, Christopher Guest and others.
– W Magazine has launched a podcast series, Five Things With Lynn Hirschberg, in which Hollywood actors and filmmakers sit down with its editor at large to discuss the five things that made them who they are. Margot Robbie is the first guest, with future episodes expected to feature her Bombshell co-stars Charlize Theron and Nicole Kidman, The Farewell star Awkwafina, Little Women‘s Saoirse Ronan and directors Noah Baumbach, Greta Gerwig and Quentin Tarantino.
– Two Gimlet Media podcasts are returning with new seasons. Scripted series The Two Princes, which follows the fairy tale romance of Rupert (Noah Galvin) and Amir (Ari’el Stachel), debuted its second season Dec. 11. Meanwhile, Motherhood Sessions will return Jan. 9 with reproductive psychiatrist Dr. Alexandra Sacks sharing discussions about being a parent.
– Westwood One has teamed up with the Associated Press to exclusively distribute, monetize and market three of the news outlet’s podcasts, including The All New Ground Game, AP’s Top 25 College Football and AP’s Get Outta Here. Washington bureau chief Julie Pace hosts Ground Game, which covers the top issues in American politics in the lead-up to the 2020 election, football writer Ralph Russo tackles on-and off-field issues in Top 25, and Warren Levinson discusses the latest travel news, trends and tips in Get Outta Here.