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iHeartMedia Announces First Podcast Awards

The podcast industry is getting its own awards show. iHeartMedia will host its inaugural iHeartRadio Podcast Awards on Jan. 18.

The podcast industry is getting its own awards show. iHeartMedia will host its inaugural iHeartRadio Podcast Awards on Jan. 18. The 90-minute ceremony will take place at the iHeartRadio Theater in Los Angeles, and will be the first live awards show for podcasting where listeners will decide on the winners. 

The Breakfast Club’s Charlamagne tha God will co-host the 90-minute event alongside Stuff You Missed in History Class co-host Holly Frey and country radio personality Bobby Bones. Mario Lopez has been tapped to host a live stream of the ceremony. Presenters will include Up & Vanished host Payne Lindsey, Lore creator Aaron Mahnke and Disgraceland‘s Jake Brennan. 

“Podcasting has roared onto the audio scene, creating the most excitement since the advent of streaming music services,” said Conal Byrne, president of iHeartMedia’s podcasting division. “The iHeartRadio Podcast Awards will provide a forum to celebrate the high-caliber, creative content that has made podcasting a major new audio category — and that truly reflects America’s favorite podcasts, voted by the listeners themselves. We look forward to hosting this transformative, annual event and encouraging everyone in the podcasting industry to push the envelope and inspire even more creators in this space.” 


The show will award winners in 22 categories, 17 of which will be voted on by fans. A blue-ribbon panel of podcast industry figures will determine the winners in five top categories, including podcast of the year, breakout podcast, best branded podcast, best social impact from podcast/host and the podcast innovator award. The nominees for podcast of the year are: Atlanta Monster, Dirty John, Hardcore History, Joe Rogan, Radiolab, Serial, Slow Burn, Stuff You Should Know, The Daily and The Habitat.

“The podcasting space is on fire and we are excited to recognize its leaders, as decided by the fans and a panel of industry creatives and experts,” said iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman. “We are delighted to use our expertise with events and awards shows to build the first major industry awards show for podcasts, to use our unparalleled size and scale to promote and market the event — and to include these great companies and luminaries in the celebration.”    

In recent years iHeartMedia has made its own push into podcasts, offering more than 20,000 shows to users of its iHeartRadio app. Its podcast network hosts more than 750 original shows from its local stations. Earlier this year, the company acquired Stuff Media, the podcast producer behind Stuff You Should Know and Atlanta Monster. iHeart says that the awards will honor podcasts from all creators, distributors and platforms, not just those developed within its own podcast network.  


Voting opens Oct. 22 on the iHeart Podcast Awards website and via social media through Jan. 6. The show will take place in front of a live audience Jan. 18 at 8 p.m. PT. Information about how to stream the show will be available at a later date. 

This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.