Pushkin Industries, the podcast studio co-founded by Jacob Weisberg and Malcolm Gladwell in 2018, is aligning with iHeartMedia. Under the agreement, Pushkin and the iHeartPodcast Network will co-produce a slate of new, original podcasts over the next two years. And iHeart will become the exclusive sales partner for Pushkin’s catalog of podcasts.
“We started Pushkin to share the joy Jacob and I have found in creating and producing podcasts,” said Malcolm Gladwell. “Working with the team at iHeart will allow us to spread this joy at an even bigger scale.” Pushkin previously had a deal with Entercom’s Cadence13 to sell its advertising.
The studio has already punched above its weight, scoring four top ten podcasts during its first year. That success has continued with a series that includes the Gladwell-hosted Revisionist History having built sizable audiences and gaining attention. Other hits include Michael Lewis’s Against the Rules and Tim Harford’s Cautionary Tales. Pushkin said working with iHeart will allow its content to reach even more listeners.
“This content partnership brings some of the most highly-regarded titles in podcasting to our network, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to help Pushkin elevate their successful podcasts even further,” said Conal Byrne, President of the iHeartPodcast Network. “In addition to adopting and supporting their existing award-winning shows, we’re eager to collaborate with the brilliant minds at Pushkin to create new originals as well,” he said in the announcement.
The first two new Pushkin-iHeart productions are set for release in March 2021. They include Double Date, an interview show hosted by Marlo Thomas and Phil Donahue. Married for 40 years, the couple will sit down with other celebrated power couples for conversations about what really makes a marriage last. The first season will include 10 episodes.
The other new show on the calendar is Lost Hills, an investigative true crime series from New Yorker magazine staff writer Dana Goodyear. It tells the story of the 2018 murder of scientist Tristan Beaudette, who was shot in the head in front of his two young daughters while camping in Malibu Creek State Park. The first of three planned seasons will include eight episodes. “Conal Byrne and the team at iHeart have been instrumental in popularizing podcasts,” said Weisberg in a statement. “We’re looking forward to working with them to push the boundaries of what’s possible in audio even further.”
The new deal will give Pushkin the ability to promote their podcasts on iHeartRadio as well as the 850 radio stations owned by iHeart and through channels such as the “Sunday Night Podcasts” radio show that broadcasts on those stations.