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Sports Illustrated Launches First New Podcast As Part Of Its iHeart Partnership.

The first new series from Sports Illustrated Media’s podcast alliance with iHeartMedia has debuted. Senior writer John Gonzalez will host Sports Illustrated Weekly, a show that takes fans through the weeks’ biggest sports stories, moments and interviews. Gonzalez previously worked at The Ringer where he hosted The Ringer NBA Show.

“For as long as I can remember thinking about any kind of job, this type of storytelling is all I’ve wanted to do. SI has a long history of exceptional journalism, and its roster of writers over the years has been an outrageous assembly of talent,” said Gonzalez. “That legacy is a big reason I wanted to work here—and why I’m so excited to call on SI’s extensive stable of writers and reporters for Sports Illustrated Weekly.”

In its announcement, iHeart says Gonzalez will bring to life the articles in the latest Sports Illustrated issue. “This new series is everything readers love about the iconic sports magazine, now in podcast form,” it says.

In a blog post about his new show, Gonzalez says the first episode of the podcast will feature senior writers Howard Beck and L. Jon Wertheim, and former All-Pro offensive lineman Joe Thomas.

“I’ve been lucky in my professional life. I’ve been a daily newspaper columnist in my hometown of Philadelphia. I’ve hosted radio and TV shows. I’ve done countless podcasts and written endless magazine stories. All of which I’m proud of,” Gonzalez wrote. “But this particular project, for this particular media outlet, is especially exciting. It’s the continuation of a life-long love affair with SI. That feeling I had flipping through the magazine as a kid, marveling at the storytelling, is what we aim to deliver to you each Wednesday.”

Sports Illustrated struck a deal with iHeartMedia last July to co-produce at least eight new original podcasts. The iHeartPodcast Network has also picked up distribution duties for Sports Illustrated’s existing podcasts. There are also mutual marketing and promotion commitments between the two companies for all joint projects.

The companies say the Sports Illustrated label will be used on editorial-focused content and analysis-based shows from the franchise. Other podcasts will come from Sports Illustrated Studios, offering scripted and limited series content.

Launched last year as a partnership between Sports Illustrated and 101 Studios, SI Studios is a media production company that develops, produces, and distributes long-form film, television, and audio sports-related content.

One show on the drawing board at SI Studios is called Lateral Damage. It will offer a unique take on the true-crime genre. The podcast’s first season will tell the story of University of California-Berkeley college football player Mariet Ford, who was convicted of viciously murdering his young son and pregnant wife. Maintaining his innocence for almost 25 years, the podcast will explore the indelible effect the murder has had on the core group of people in Ford’s sphere.

Sports podcasts are a growing part of the iHeartPodcast Network. The company announced last year that it had signed an exclusive multiyear podcast partnership with the National Football League. iHeart also signed a multiyear partnership with the NBA.

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