Capping off an eventful year for one of radio’s most listened to and influential personalities, Charlamagne Tha God has signed a contract extension with iHeartMedia. The five-year deal will keep him at the helm of “The Breakfast Club,” which he has hosted for the past 10 years, alongside co-hosts Angela Yee and DJ Envy, while also taking on a new role as Senior Creative Officer of Cultural Content and Programming and launching some new projects.
Terms of what the New York Post calls a “very lucrative” deal were not disclosed.
Syndicated from flagship hip-hop/R&B “Power 105.1” WWPR-FM New York, “The Breakfast Club” is heard by 4.5 million listeners a week.
As Charlamagne became an important voice in culture, “The Breakfast Club” has become a go-to interview stop for politicians and other guests looking to connect with Black America. Guests on the show have ranged from former President Barack Obama, President-elect Joe Biden, and VP-elect Kamala Harris to Snoop Dog, Jay-Z, and Dr. Anthony Fauci.
In his new executive role, the 42-year old Charlamagne – real name Lenard Larry McKelvey– is tasked with discovering and curating new talent and programming for radio and podcasts and developing productions and community initiatives. He will also develop a show consisting of one-on-one interviews with artists, athletes and other voices. The conversations are expected to air quarterly across various iHeartRadio stations, podcasts and other digital platforms.
“Charlamagne is a multiplatform talent, creator and innovator and we are excited to extend our existing partnership on the nationally syndicated morning show 'The Breakfast Club,' while also creating successful new historical ventures like the Black Effect Network,” said Thea Mitchem, Executive VP of Programming for iHeartMedia. “His voice continues to be unique and authentic and a driving force and influence in today’s hip hop and pop culture. He, along with the entire Breakfast Club, continue to have the incredible ability to connect with audiences and artists alike, delivering the most entertaining and informative content and programming to listeners throughout the country.”
This has been an especially eventful year for the morning man tuned media mogul. “The Breakfast Club” was inducted this year into the Radio Hall of Fame in the Active Network/Syndication (10 years or more) category. In September Charlamagne formed a 50-50 joint venture with iHeartMedia to create The Black Effect Podcast Network, which features a variety of Black voices with content across a variety of genres and has already racked up 10 million downloads. Shortly after that he partnered with actor Kevin Hart on a joint effort to bring more diverse content to Audible, the audiobook and podcast platform owned by Amazon.
The personality has also announced the launch of Black Privilege Publishing his new partnership imprint from Atria Books at Simon & Schuster to bring emerging and renowned Black voices to publishing. The inaugural release will be social justice activist Tamika D. Mallory’s publishing debut, “State of Emergency,” due out in May 2021.
"I give my sincerest thanks to iHeart for empowering me over the past decade to be the best talent that I can be, and for honoring me as an owner and executive,” said Charlamagne. “I love the audio business and iHeart is the biggest and best audio company in the world. As Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer of the Black Effect Podcast Network and now Senior Creative Officer of Cultural Content and Programming at iHeart, all I want to do for the next 5 years is continue to move the culture of radio and podcasting forward by curating a new era of voices, programming, and events. God is great! Now, it's time to get back to work."
He is also working on a yet-unnamed talk show on Comedy Central that debuts in 2021 and launching his new “Mental Wealth Alliance” with a goal to provide free mental health treatment to 10 million people in five years. Charlamagne will continue to host “Weekends with The Breakfast Club,” a three-hour weekly program that includes a top 20 song countdown and interviews.
He told the Post’s Page Six column he turned down offers from TV networks and other media companies. “iHeart has shown me that they have my back. It’s a great partnership and great partnerships are very hard to find, especially in this era that we are in right now,” Charlamagne said. “It says something when you’ve been with a company for 10 years and they’ve gone above and beyond and empowered me, not just as talent, but as an owner and an executive.”