Texas Republican Ted Cruz is not giving up his day job as a U.S. Senator, but he is expanding his commitment to podcasting. The one-time presidential candidate has inked a deal to take his podcast Verdict with Ted Cruz to iHeartRadio and expand the weekly into a three-times-a-week podcast.
During his latest episode, Cruz called his signing with iHeart a “big damn deal” and said he was excited about the potential to have his podcast promoted across the company’s 850 radio stations.
“iHeartRadio is a monster,” said Cruz. “iHeart is the network that worked and built with Rush Limbaugh and helped him build into the greatest ever.”
The move from Cruz’s indie production company Verdict+ to iHeart will require a change of cohosts. Because current cohost Michael Knowles works for The Daily Wire, he told listeners he is not allowed to stick with the podcast once it jumps to iHeart. He called his time on the show an “amazing ride” and wished Cruz well.
“iHeart can fund the whole thing — fund production, dump a whole bunch of money into marketing. This is incredible,” said Knowles. “It will make this show sustainable, not just for the next few months going into the midterms, but for the next years.”
Cruz will not host the half hour-long podcast solo, however, as iHeart is slotting one its biggest talents to work alongside the Senator. Ben Ferguson, who hosts the syndicated radio show and podcast The Ben Ferguson Show for iHeart, will add the Verdict co-host duties.
Cruz launched the Verdict podcast in January 2020 during the first impeachment of former President Donald Trump. In the two and a half years since, the podcast has had more than 50 million downloads the Senator said Monday. Verdict is currently the No. 8 political podcast on Apple Podcasts and the No. 40 news podcast in the U.S., according to Chartable.
“With iHeart stepping in to distribute and promote, the reach is going to be that much broader. That’s really exciting,” he said.