Record industry executive Jason Flom has had a passion for justice reform as much as music and that led him to build Lava for Good into a content company focused on true crime and social justice. Today the company best-known for podcasts Wrongful Conviction and Righteous Convictions makes a move to reach more people with its message. Flom has just struck a deal with iHeartMedia to develop new shows and distribute Lava for Good’s slate via the iHeartPodcast Network.
Flom – who is a founding board member of the Innocence Project – and iHeartPodcast Network COO Will Pearson kicked off the partnership on Wednesday with a visit to Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, NY. They said the visit helped to cement the two companies’ commitment to shining a light on the stories of social injustice.
“We’re thrilled to partner with iHeartMedia to further our mission of creating real and lasting change through telling human stories,” said Flom in a statement. “I am particularly excited to build on our 7-year history with the upcoming new shows in the coming months — shows that will focus on jaw-dropping wrongful conviction cases as well as peeling back the layers of the everyday injustice that has permeated our criminal legal system for far too long.”
The first new podcast launching under the partnership is Bone Valley. It is a series that brings listeners along on an investigative journey through the swamps and courtrooms of central Florida in a search for truth and justice in the wrongful conviction of Leo Schofield, who has been serving a life sentence in Florida for the 1987 murder of his wife, Michelle. Bone Valley is hosted by investigative journalist Gilbert King, who uncovers evidence of Schofield’s innocence, including a chilling confession to the murder from a convicted serial killer. The series is scheduled to launch September 21.
Other upcoming releases from Lava for Good include a special series of Wrongful Conviction episodes beginning September 12, guest-hosted by true crime luminaries including Lauren Bright Pacheco (Murder in Illinois), David Rudolph (The Staircase), and Laura Nirider (Making a Murderer) and the formerly incarcerated -- including Amanda Knox, Patrick Pursley, and Earlonne Woods – whose story was the basis of the Ear Hustle podcast.
Then on November 15, Lava for Good will release The War on Drugs, a new series which takes a hard look at America’s drug policy. And in January, it will debut the second season of the hit series Wrongful Conviction with Maggie Freleng. It follows Freleng’s Pulitzer Prize win for her work hosting the Suave podcast.
“The work Lava for Good has done to tell the stories of those wrongfully convicted or denied justice is so important,” said Pearson. “We are honored and humbled to be partnering with such a talented team to bring these stories to a wider audience in hopes that as the episodes from this incredible slate of podcasts are heard, it will become that much clearer that there is still real work to be done. The Lava for Good team is so skilled in helping its listeners see that each of us can play a role in making the change our world needs.”
Founded and led by Flom and Lava Media COO Jeff Kempler in association with Signal Co. No1, Lava for Good launched in 2018. Since then it has racked up more than 35 million downloads. Its lineup of true crime and social justice podcasts has been credited with influencing exonerations, clemencies, pardons, and legislation reforms nationwide.
It has also picked up several prizes. Earlier this year, Lava for Good was honored at The Anthem Awards, winning a Silver Award for Human & Civil Rights - Best Strategy. In 2021, the Wrongful Conviction series was recognized by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences for the Webby Awards, with Wrongful Conviction: False Confessions taking home the Webby People's Voice honor in the Crime & Justice category.