Audacy has said that it sees a growing opportunity in building a portfolio of locally-produced podcasts, most of which hail from its radio stations. But that does not mean the company is done with big-name deals. Audacy’s Cadence13 Studios has announced a partnership Amy Poehler’s Paper Kite Production to create a self-help podcast satire. Titled Say More with Dr? Shiela, the ten-episode podcast will star Poehler as a couple’s therapist with questionable methods and credentials.
Poehler’s Paper Kite Productions – the production company behind hit shows including Russian Doll (Netflix), Harlem (Amazon) and Broad City (Comedy Central) – will also create two more podcasts for what will be a combined 30-episode comedy franchise featuring stories that parody and pay homage to popular themes in the podcast space. The franchise will be broken out into three seasons of 10 episodes apiece. Each will focus on a central character and distinct theme, although some characters will make crossover appearances across stories and seasons.
Say More with Dr? Sheila will also be co-produced and written by Liz Cackowski and produced by Alice Stanley. The series will be Executive Produced by Poehler, Cackowski and Cadence13 Chief Content Officer Chris Corcoran.
“We are huge fans of podcasts and we can’t wait to poke fun at all the things we love about them, and to do so with Cadence13,” said Poehler and Cackowski in a joint statement.
Cadence13 says details on Say More with Dr? Sheila, as well as future seasons and stories, will be announced at a later date. “They had me at Amy and Liz. From there came a brilliant concept that we absolutely wanted to be a part of,” said Corcoran in the announcement. “Cadence13 is excited to bring this kind of hilarious and smart storytelling to the space, and we are so proud to be in this with Paper Kite.”
Poehler is one of Hollywood’s most versatile and sought-after talents, with credits including actress, writer, executive producer, and bestselling author. She is perhaps best known for her starring role on the comedy TV series “Parks and Recreation.” Poehler is also currently co-hosting “Baking It” alongside Maya Rudolph on Peacock.
During Audacy’s quarterly conference call with analysts, CEO David Field said deal-making in the podcasting sector has become “more rationale” than it has been during the past few deals, with a handful of operators inflating prices by handing producers eye-popping offers.
“The early gold rush or land rush that occurred in prior years has dampened to some extent, and now I'd say there's more balance in the marketplace. And so the deals that we are cutting are more friendly for us,” Field said. He said that will not only help Audacy improve the profit margins on its podcasting business long-term, but in the meantime it has already meant that more of its podcast revenue is tied to its own content.
Increasingly, that has meant podcasts that are on-demand versions of radio shows or locally-focused podcasts produced at local radio stations. CFO Richard Schmaeling said Audacy is seeing “very significant growth” from local radio-produced podcasts. “It is a proposition that we think there's a lot of headroom for growth,” he said.