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iHeartRadio Podcast Awards To Return In January; Three ‘Icon Award’ Winners Announced.

The iHeartRadio Podcast Awards will return for a third year on Jan. 21 to celebrate the industry’s best creative efforts across 30 categories. Because nominees will be unable to attend in person due to the pandemic, iHeartMedia says this year’s virtual event (9pm ET) will be recorded from multiple locations, with a live stream on the iHeartRadio app, iHeartRadio’s YouTube and Facebook pages, and on iHeart-owned radio stations nationwide.

Podcast fans will once again decide the winner of the Podcast of the Year award by voting on Twitter through Dec. 31. The winners in the other categories will be selected by a panel composed of what iHeart says will be a panel of “blue-ribbon podcast industry leaders, creatives and visionaries.”

This year’s Podcast of the Year nominees include Bunga Bunga, Dolly Parton’s America, Nice White Parents, Office Ladies, Reply All, Stuff You Should Know, The Breakfast Club, The Daily, The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos and Wind of Change.

The online event will present three Icon Awards to pay tribute to the creators, organizations and podcasts that have made groundbreaking contributions to podcasting’s expanding role in today’s popular culture. Serial Productions’ Sarah Koenig and Julie Synder will receive the 2021 Audible Audio Pioneer Award. How To Citizen host Baratunde Thurston will be honored with the 2021 Social Impact Award. And fiction podcast powerhouse QCode will be honored with the 2021 Innovator Award.

“We’re thrilled by the opportunity to recognize today’s most talented podcast creators for the third straight year at the 2021 iHeartRadio Podcast Awards,” said Conal Byrne, President of the iHeartPodcast Network. “And although we all won’t be in the same room this year, we’ll still be able to celebrate the best of the best in the podcast medium.”

Here are the nominees –

Podcast of the Year:

  • Bunga Bunga (Wondery)

  • Dolly Parton’s America (WNYC Studios/OSM Audio)

  • Nice White Parents (Serial/The New York Times)

  • Office Ladies (Earwolf /Jenna Fischer/Angela Kinsey)

  • Reply All (Gimlet)

  • Stuff You Should Know (iHeartRadio)

  • The Breakfast Club (iHeartRadio)

  • The Daily (The New York Times)

  • The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos (Pushkin Industries)

  • Wind of Change (Crooked/Pineapple Street Media/Spotify)

Best Business & Finance Podcast:

  • Business Wars (Wondery)

  • Earn Your Leisure (Independent)

  • Freakonomics (Freakonomics Radio & Stitcher)

  • How I Built This (NPR)

  • Pivot (New York Magazine)

Best Comedy Podcast:

  • Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend (Team Coco/Earwolf)

  • Office Ladies (Earwolf/Jenna Fischer/Angela Kinsey)

  • The Read (Loud Speakers Network)

  • Smartless (Independent)

  • Fake Doctors, Real Friends (iHeartRadio)

Best Crime Podcast:

  • Crime Junkie (AudioChuck)

  • Criminal (PRX/Radiotopia)

  • Deep Cover: The Drug Wars (Pushkin Industries)

  • Forgotten: Women of Juarez (iHeartRadio)

  • My Favorite Murder (Exactly Right)

Best Pop Culture Podcast:

  • Bitch Sesh (Earwolf/Casey Wilson/Danielle Schneider)

  • Las Culturistas (Big Money Players/iHeartRadio)

  • Pop Culture Happy Hour (NPR)

  • Still Processing (The New York Times)

  • The Read (Loud Speakers Network)

Best Food Podcast:

  • Burnt Toast (Food52)

  • Gastropod (Independent)

  • Home Cooking (Samin Nosrat/Hrishikesh Hirway)

  • Spilled Milk (Molly Wizenberg & Matthew Amster-Burton)

  • The Sporkful (Dan Pashman/Stitcher)

Best Wellness & Fitness Podcast:

  • Happier with Gretchen Rubin (Gretchen Rubin/The Onward Project)

  • On Purpose with Jay Shetty (Jay Shetty & Kast Media)

  • Sleep with Me (Dearest Scooter & Night Vale Presents)

  • Ten Percent Happier (ABC News)

  • Therapy For Black Girls (Joy Harden Bradford/iHeartRadio)

Best History Podcast:

  • Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History (Dan Carlin)

  • Noble Blood (iHeartRadio)

  • Revisionist History (Pushkin Industries)

  • Slow Burn (Slate)

  • Throughline (NPR)

Best Kids & Family Podcast:

  • But Why: A Podcast For Kids (Vermont Public Radio)

  • Hank The Cowdog (QCODE & HTC Productions)

  • Smash Boom Best (APM)

  • Story Pirates (Gimlet)

  • Wow In The World (NPR)

Best Music Podcast:

  • Bobbycast (The Nashville Podcast Network)

  • Broken Record (Pushkin Industries)

  • Disgraceland (Jake Brennan)

  • Dolly Parton’s America (WNYC & OSM Audio)

  • Song Exploder (Hrishikesh Hirway)

Best News Podcast:

  • Pod Save America (Crooked Media)

  • The Daily (The New York Times)

  • The Journal (The Wall Street Journal/Gimlet)

  • Today, Explained (Vox)

  • Up First (NPR)

Best Fiction Podcast:

  • Blood Ties (Wondery)

  • Borrasca (QCODE)

  • Dirty Diana (QCODE)

  • The Left Right Game (QCODE)

  • Welcome To Night Vale (Night Vale Presents)

Best Sports Podcast:

  • All The Smoke (The Black Effect)

  • Fantasy Footballers (Fantasy Football)

  • Pardon My Take (Barstool Sports)

  • The Bill Simmons Podcast (The Ringer/Bill Simmons)

  • The Herd with Colin Cowherd (iHeartRadio)

Best Science Podcast:

  • Hidden Brain (NPR)

  • Invisibilia (NPR)

  • Radiolab (WNYC Studios)

  • Science Vs. (Gimlet)

  • Stuff To Blow Your Mind (iHeartRadio)

Best Technology Podcast:

  • Rabbit Hole (The New York Times)

  • Recode by Vox (Recode)

  • Reply All (Gimlet)

  • TED Radio Hour (NPR)

  • Waveform (Studio71)

Best Ad Read:

  • Comedy Bang Bang (Earwolf / Scott Aukerman)

  • Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend (Team Coco/Earwolf)

  • Hollywood Handbook (Earwolf)

  • Office Ladies (Earwolf / Stitcher)

  • Revisionist History (Pushkin Industries)

Best Overall Host – Male:

  • Conan O’Brien (Team Coco/Earwolf)

  • Dax Shepard (Armchair Umbrella)

  • Jonathan Van Ness (Earwolf/Stitcher)

  • Michael Barbaro (The New York Times)

  • Questlove (iHeartRadio)

Best Overall Host – Female:

  • Ashley Flowers (Parcast)

  • Brené Brown (Parcast)

  • Michelle Obama (Higher Ground/Spotify)

  • Nicole Byer (Headgum)

  • Nora McInerny (APM)

Best Political Podcast:

  • FiveThirtyEight Politics (FiveThirtyEight/538/ABC News, Nate Silver)

  • NPR Politics (NPR)

  • Pod Save America (Crooked Media)

  • Political Gabfest (Slate)

  • Stay Tuned with Preet (Cafe)

Best TV & Film Podcast:

  • Fake Doctors, Real Friends (iHeartRadio)

  • How Did This Get Made? (Earwolf/Paul Scheer/June Diane Raphael/Jason Mantzoukas/Stitcher)

  • Office Ladies (Earwolf/Jenna Fischer/Angela Kinsey)

  • Rewatchables (The Ringer/Bill Simmons)

  • You Must Remember This (Karina Longworth)

Best Spanish Language Podcast:

  • Duolingo Spanish Podcast (Duolingo)

  • La Nota Roja (Imperative Entertainment/Blue Guitar)

  • Leyendas Legendarias (Sonoro/All Things Comedy)

  • Radio Ambulante (NPR)

  • Spanish Aqui Presents (Earwolf /Spanish Aqui Presents)

Best Advice/Inspirational Podcast:

  • Dear Prudence (Slate)

  • Dear Sugars (WBUR/The New York Times)

  • Terrible, Thanks For Asking (APM)

  • Unlocking Us with Brené Brown (Parcast)

  • Where Should We Begin with Esther Perel (Esther Perel Global Media/Gimlet)

Best Beauty & Fashion Podcast:

  • Articles of Interest (Avery Trufelman/99% Invisible)

  • Beauty Needs Me (Independent)

  • Blamo! (Independent)

  • Dressed: The History of Fashion (iHeartRadio)

  • Forever 35 (Independent)

Best Travel Podcast:

  • Escape (WEBVID)

  • Extra Pack of Peanuts (Independent)

  • JUMP with Traveling Jackie (Independent)

  • Let’s Go Together (Travel & Leisure)

  • Travel with Rick Steves (Rick Steves)

Best Spirituality & Religion Podcast:

  • Calm It Down (Independent)

  • Doing Great with Vicky Vox (Earwolf & Vicky Vox)

  • Elevation with Steven Furtick (Independent)

  • On Being with Krista Tippett (Independent)

  • Whoa That’s Good Podcast (Independent)

Best Green Podcast:

  • America Adapts (Independent)

  • Broken Ground (Southern Environmental Law Center)

  • Citizens’ Climate Lobby (Citizens’ Climate Lobby)

  • Costing The Earth (BBC Radio 4)

  • How To Save A Planet (Gimlet)

Best Branded Podcast:

  • Bring Back Bronco (Ford)

  • Hackable? (McAfee)

  • Humans Growing Stuff (ScottsMiracle-Gro)

  • Inside Trader Joe’s (Trader Joe’s)

  • The Only Way Is Through (Under Armour)

The executive producers for the iHeartRadio Podcast Awards are John Sykes, Tom Poleman and Conal Byrne for iHeartMedia and Deviants Media Studio founder Ivan Dudynsky and Buzz Chatman. Progressive insurance and Audible, which has made its own moves into podcasting in recent months, are among the event’s sponsors.

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