Novel’s Staff-Up Continues As It Rolls Out A New Podcast Slate And Targets U.S. Market.


As the U.K.-based podcast company Novel ramps up its efforts to capture a piece of the U.S. market, it’s growing its management ranks . Novel has hired Willard Foxton as Head of Development and Katherine Godfrey as Executive Producer in charge of the podcast projects the company works on with the BBC.


“The new senior team are testament to the significant strides forward Novel has taken recently, and the quality and level of the work we’re developing and producing for ourselves and our partners,” said Novel founder Sean Glynn in the announcement.


Godfrey is the former Head of Audio at the U.K.’s The Guardian newspaper. She also previously worked as Executive Producer at Whistledown Productions. The BBC is one of Novel’s key partners, having developed the critically acclaimed series Sideways with host Matthew Syed for BBC Radio 4.


“I am delighted to be focusing on Novel’s work for the BBC, for whom I’ve produced much of my work throughout my career, concentrating on bringing narrative-driven journalism to a wide range of factual and arts subjects across strands, podcasts and documentaries,” said Godfrey in a statement. She said Novel is currently working on a second season.


Foxton meantime has been tasked with building out Novel’s development slate, working up series to air with leading networks and broadcasters, and to launch as a slate of original podcasts.


Foxton arrives at Novel with a background in television and journalism. He developed TV series for Blakeway, Mosaic, and Sundog Pictures and earlier worked at the Daily Telegraph newspaper in the U.K.


“It’s been incredibly exciting working with Novel as the business rockets upwards – and what’s most exciting of all, from a development perspective, is all that growth has come from putting great stories in front of the world’s biggest broadcasters and platforms,” said Foxton.


In February, Novel signed a multi-year slate deal with iHeartRadio, the biggest deal of its kind for a U.K. podcast company. It will produce a slate of iHeartRadio Original podcasts that will lead to the release of eleven new docuseries during the next three years. The common thread among the shows is they will focus on “stranger-than-fiction” true stories.


“It turns out there’s a huge international appetite for great British storytelling, as our deal with iHeart shows,” said Foxton. “As well as working with partners, we’re also excited that we have a slate of Novel original podcasts which will start debuting soon.”


The hiring of Godfrey and Foxton follows last week’s announcement by Novel that it has hired former Vice U.K. CEO Matt O’Mara as its Chief Strategy and Operating Officer. The hires bring the four-year old Novel staff up to 18 full-time in-house employees.

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