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Podcast Startup Kaleidoscope Inks Distribution Deal With iHeartPodcasts.


Kaleidoscope, a podcast start-up led by Oz Woloshy and Mangesh Hattikudur, is teaming up with iHeartMedia to produce and distribute a slate of narrative podcasts that looks to tell stories from around the world. The collaboration includes an initial slate of six podcasts that tell largely-unknown true stories from different corners of the globe.


“This partnership with Kaleidoscope offers iHeartPodcasts an opportunity to collaborate with some of the smartest, most creative producers in podcasting,” said Will Pearson, President of iHeartPodcasts. “We love their team’s focus on incredible stories from around the world and immediately gravitated to the slate Kaleidoscope put in front of us. We can’t wait for audiences to hear this line-up of brilliant shows.”


As part of the collaboration, Kaleidoscope and iHeartPodcasts will release one new investigative podcast each month. The first to debut is called Obsessions: Wild Chocolate. The podcast follows food journalist Rowan Jacobson on a trip into the Amazon to find the world’s rarest cacao beans and meet the people quietly making the chocolate.


Then in November, Kaleidoscope will release a weekly podcast called Skyline Drive. This series peeks under the hood at the culture and business of astrology. Hosted by Mangesh Hattikudur, the show is set to debut Nov. 29.


In January, the next release will come with the weekly show called The Good Thief. It follows Vassilis Palaiokostas, the bank robber known as “Greece’s Robin Hood” with a million Euro bounty on his head. Through rare access, the creators say this podcast will give new context to Palaiokostas' background and showcase how one of Interpol’s Most Wanted became Greece’s favorite folk hero.


In February, Murder in Little Haiti is set to debut. It is a follow-up to the hit podcast Forgotten: Women of Juarez. The new weekly show once again follows Oz Woloshyn as he and investigative reporter Ana Arana take up a cold case that continues to haunt Miami’s “Little Haiti” neighborhood when in the early 1990s three radio DJs were murdered in short order. Arana first reported on the crimes in the early 1990s and revisits a story that has continued to haunt her.


"We're very excited that iHeart will use its industry-leading reach, relationships with top-tier content creators, and cutting-edge analytics to help amplify these important and compelling stories from across the globe," said Woloshyn. "The podcasting industry is growing quickly, but it's still in its infancy. This partnership will create new genres of shows and reach listeners who may not yet be familiar with the rich, immersive storytelling experience that top-tier podcasts can provide."


Kaleidoscope is a New York-based podcast company founded by Woloshyn, host of Forgotten: Women of Juarez and Sleepwalkers, and Hattikudur, co-founder of the online magazine Mental Floss and former Senior VP of Podcast Development at iHeartMedia.


Kaleidoscope has secured sizable funding from investors like former MTV head Tom Freston and former Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post Editor Marcus Brauchli and is said to be in advanced talks with Hollywood studios, TV networks, and major book publishers about selling adaptations of its podcasts. It also has the backing of media deal brokers The Raine Group and is represented by talent agency WME.

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