Westwood One Launches Female Empowerment Podcast Network
Cumulus Media’s Westwood One has announced the launch of a new podcasting vertical. The Empow(h)er Podcast Network will debut with nine shows targeting female audiences.
The first show to launch is “Run Like a Girl” focusing on women running for political office. It will be followed on September 19 with NBC Sports “On Her Turf” based on the Instagram account celebrating female athletes.
Other shows to come include “Suze Orman’s Women & Money Show”, “Women Want to Hear Women” hosted by Nash Nights Live co-host Elaina Smith featuring female Country artists, “BLK + in Grad School” following the experiences of Allanté Whitmore as she pursues her Ph.D. That one was the first winner of the company’s Pitch Pod at the Podcast Movement convention in July.
Comedian Ross Matthews and WPLJ New York morning co-host Jayde Donovan will each host two shows. Matthews will host the advice show “Straight Talk with Ross Mathews” and “Pop Talk with Ross Mathews” focusing on discussions of the top stories of the week. Donovan will host “Bad Mamas with Jayde” discussing motherhood issues and “40 Weeks with Jayde Donovan” discussing pregnancy.
Westwood One, America’s largest audio network, announced today at the IAB Podcast Upfront the launch of The Empow(h)er Podcast Network, debuting with nine podcast series to inspire the medium’s rapidly growing female audience. Growth in time spent by women listening to podcasts weekly is 6x faster than that of men over the last year — and for the same time period, women’s average weekly time spent with podcasts is up 20%, according to the recently released “Westwood One’s Podcast Download — Fall 2018 report.”
With women making political waves on the Hill and across the country, Westwood One has introduced “Run Like a Girl”— an Empow(h)er Podcast Network series that shines a nonpartisan light on women running for office, in the hopes of helping elect more women to the halls of power. Each week listeners will meet a different woman candidate who is running the race of her life. In addition, through Election Day, the series will give listeners exclusive access to the Gretchen Whitmer campaign, one of the most competitive gubernatorial contests in the country, happening right now in Michigan.
Several brands are already supporting the show, including Sun Basket, the San Francisco-based subscription meal delivery service. “Run Like a Girl” is live now.
Another featured podcast in the line-up is “On Her Turf,” from NBC Sports Group. The show is based on the popular Instagram account of the same name. It celebrates female athletes and inspires all women to be the best version of themselves, on and off the field. The series kicks off September 19.
“NBC Sports Group is very excited to partner with Westwood One to build a community of avid supporters of female athletes, championing the cause of equality in all its forms,” said Jenny Storms, CMO, NBC Sports Group. “This show celebrates female athletes with the attention, acclaim, and accolades they deserve, on and off the field – inspiring the next generations of amazing women.”
“It’s undeniable that women are a cultural force with momentum like never before, which is why the time is now to launch The Empow(h)er Podcast Network,” said Suzanne Grimes, Executive Vice President, Marketing for Cumulus Media and President of Westwood One. “Women are listening to more podcasts than ever, and brands recognize this, as many have already come on board to support women and this new network.”
Other series coming to The Empow(h)er Podcast Network:
· Suze Orman’s Women & Money Show: Suze Orman’s Women & Money podcast will speak to every mother, daughter, grandmother, sister, and wife. It will give women the opportunity to tap into Suze’s unique spirit, people-first wisdom, and unparalleled appreciation that for women, money itself is not the end goal, it’s the means to living a full and meaningful life.
· Straight Talk with Ross Mathews: Ross Mathews is the go-to guy for anyone who needs a BFF to give them guidance, direction, or a good ole’ slap in the face. Straight Talk (a.k.a. Advice & LOL’s from the Gay Best Friend You Wish You Had and Know You Need) tackles relationships and dating, friendship, and beyond—no topic is off limits or too taboo.
· Pop Talk with Ross Mathews: In Pop Talk, Ross with his friend and co-host Trish Suhr break down the top 10 stories of the week — in the fabulous way only these two can. Full of drama and debate, their take on celebs and sports, scandals, and more, give listeners a dose of pop culture fun found nowhere else. This is a new show coming this fall.
· Women Want to Hear Women with Elaina Smith: This series is reclaiming the flawed narrative suggesting female artists don’t deserve airtime on country radio because listeners only want to hear male artists. Elaina shines her spotlight on some of country music’s most talented female artists as she interviews legends, up-and-comers, and everyone in between! Dolly Parton was an early interviewee, and Carrie Underwood is joining Elaina this week. The show was added over Labor Day weekend.
· Bad Mamas with Jayde: Capturing all the wonders and weirdness of motherhood, radio personality and mom Jayde Donovan shares it all, while acknowledging that no one actually knows what the — f — they’re doing. Jayde can be heard mornings in New York City on WPLJ and weekends on her Westwood One nationally syndicated show, Jayde. “Bad Mamas” launches February 7.
· 40 Weeks with Jayde Donovan: On “40 Weeks,” Jayde takes listeners on a beautiful—and brutally honest—journey about what it’s like to be pregnant. This is a special 40-episode podcast series designed for pregnant women as they experience the wonders and “whoas” of their own pregnancies. “40 Weeks” starts gestation March 18.
· BLK + in Grad School: This podcast chronicles the experiences of Allanté Whitmore, a black woman navigating academia as she pursues her Ph.D. The show was created to encourage and inspire women and people of color to embark on the graduate school journey. In addition, BLK + in Grad is the first Westwood One Pitch Winner — discovered through the interactive “Westwood One Pitch Pod” mobile-studio at the recent Podcast Movement conference in Philadelphia. “BLK + in Grad School” is independent now but is moving to the majors joining Westwood One this fall.