The Governor’s Award at the upcoming Awards for Excellence in Audio – better known as The Ambies – is designed to honor a show that raises the profile of podcast. In the award show’s inaugural year that trophy will go to the independently produced WTF with Marc Maron.
Donald Albright, Podcast Academy Chairman and President of the podcast studio Tenderfoot TV, called WTF a “trailblazer for the medium” that “represents what’s unique about the industry.” In a statement Albright added, “Marc and Brendan have served as global pioneers for podcasters big and small, both in front of and behind the mic.”
Since its debut in September 2009, WTF with Marc Maron has released more than 1,200 episodes with more than 600 million downloads. The episode that likely achieved the most podcast exposure was its June 2015 episode featuring former President Barack Obama. It reportedly had more than 1.6 million downloads.
“It’s a genuine honor to be recognized by our peers as a major influence on the podcast medium,” said Maron and series co-creator Brendan McDonald in a joint statement. “The show has evolved into what it is now through our persistence, creativity, discipline and curiosity. We’re grateful for this recognition and the freedom that podcasting affords us.”
Prior to launching his podcast, Maron hosted a syndicated talk radio show on the now-defunct Air America liberal network.
For over thirty years, Maron has been writing and performing comedy for print, stage, radio, online and television.
McDonald began working with Maron in 2004, a partnership that included two radio shows and a daily streaming video broadcast. He also produces podcasts for MSNBC. He previously served as a senior producer for the network. Other production experience includes roles at Sirius XM, WNYC Radio, and WFUV New York (90.7), where he got his start in broadcasting as an undergraduate at Fordham University.
The Podcast Academy earlier released the list of 164 nominees across 23 categories that are up for awards at The Ambies. Winners will be voted on by Podcast Academy members.
The Podcast Academy’s award show geared to increase awareness of the medium and celebrate excellence in podcasting will be held Sunday, May 16 in Los Angeles. The ceremony will be streamed live on YouTube, Twitch and other platforms from Los Angeles, at 8pm ET, with a pre-show starting at 7:30pm ET.