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  • Edwin Serrano

The Top 10 Most Powerful People in Podcasting

Updated: Aug 20, 2019


#1 - Conal Byrne, President, iHeartPodcast Network


iHeartMedia invested big in podcasting and Conal Byrne is in charge of the payoff.  Byrne was running Stuff Media when it was acquired by iHeartMedia in 2018, and he's now overseeing the biggest commercial podcast network in the world. With over 250 active shows and 127 million downloads each month, Conal Byrne was an easy pick to top the list as The Most Powerful Person in Podcasting.


#2 - James Boggs, Manager, Apple Podcasts


As the Worldwide Manager of Apple Podcasts, James Boggs presides over the grandfather of podcast distributors. He’s been with the Cupertino, CA-based tech giant since 2004 beginning with the iTunes division and soon he was in charge of advocating for podcasts across Europe. Since 2010 he’s been back in the U.S. and since 2017 Boggs has been Apple’s Worldwide Manager of Podcasts, overseeing everything from editorial teams to working with podcast partners.


#3 - Neal Carruth, GM of Podcasts, NPR


Neal Carruth is NPR's General Manager of Podcasts. A 17-year NPR veteran, Carruth oversees a variety of shows including Planet Money, Embedded, Hidden Brain, Code Switch, Pop Culture Happy Hour plus NPR’s politics podcasts. His approach is to grow the brand. “Success doesn’t necessarily mean a giant audience for every show. In some cases, we’re trying to find new audiences, whether it’s a younger segment or a more diverse segment."


#4 - Hernan Lopez, Founder & CEO, Wondery


Hernan Lopez launched Wondery in 2016 with funding from a group of investors including 20th Century Fox after spending 20 years working television including as CEO of Fox International Channels. "We're a network of storytellers," he’s said of Wondery. And through shows like Dirty John and Dr. Death, Wondery has reached 1 billion downloads in nearly four years.  What's ahead?  Lopez predicts the podcasting industry will hit $1B in revenue in next year—a year earlier than the IAB forecasts.


#5 - Erik Diehn, CEO, Stitcher, Earwolf & Midroll


Eirk Diehn is the CEO of Stitcher, home to over 150,000 podcasts. The company  produces original podcasts under the Stitcher brand and is the parent of Earwolf, which makes comedy legends like "How Did This Get Made?" and "Comedy Bang! Bang!" And Midroll is the advertising sales and podcaster services arm for hundreds of partners such as The Ringer, WTF with Marc Maron, Star Talk with Neil deGrasse Tyson, and American Public Media. Before joining stitcher, Diehn was Senior Director of Business Development for New York Public Radio.



Kerri Hoffman is the CEO of PRX, and is shaping the future of public media content and talent. And Kerri is a fierce champion for innovations in podcasting, new financial models, and audience growth. She played a key role in the building and evolution of PRX, and headed up the launch of Radiotopia, a podcast collective of 14 diverse, independent, story-driven shows, anchored by 99% Invisible from Roman Mars. "Podcasting is still a new medium and is exploding with opportunity, competition and big money. We need to find smart ways to lead in this emerging space."


Oren Rosenbaum is a Digital Media Agent at leading talent and entertainment company, United Talent Agency (UTA), and runs the agency’s emerging platforms division. He was instrumental in brokering actor Will Ferrell’s landmark podcast deal to revive his Ron Burgundy character for an iHeartMedia podcast. Rosenbaum also represents a variety of podcast networks, creators and early stage companies including iHeartMedia/HowStuffWorks, Wondery, Tenderfoot, The Boston Globe, Guy Raz (TED Radio Hour/How I Built This), Aaron Mahnke, American Public Media, and Anna Faris (Unqualified), among others.


#8 - Sam Dolnick, Assistant Managing Editor, The New York Times


Sam Dolnick is an assistant managing editor of The New York Times who oversees The Times’s audio report, its work in film and television, and other digital projects. He helped launch “The Daily,” one of the top podcasts in the country, as well as “The Weekly,” The Times’s television show on FX and Hulu, where he's an executive producer. Before that he helped introduce the Times’s early experiments in virtual reality and other mobile journalism initiatives.


Spencer Brown is the CEO at Cadence13, a company that not only develops and produces podcasts with a broad range of programming partners but also has a sales and monetization arm. And last year Cadence 13 launched Ramble, a podcast network aligned around digital stars, in partnership with UTA. Brown has been at the helm since 2015; his earlier audio experience was as CEO of the radio networks Dial Global and Westwood One from 2003 to 2013.


#10 - Dawn Ostroff, Chief Contenr Officer, Spotify

The acquisition of Gimlet Media, Parcast and Anchor FM this year firmly planted Spotify into the podcast business. And Spotify’s Chief Content Officer Dawn Ostroff told Variety recently the company is looking at a “myriad of opportunities” for its next podcast deals. “We’re open to seeing ways we can strategically fit with other companies,” she said in the interview. The former President of Entertainment of The CW and President of Condé Nast Entertainment added, “Podcasts offer the combination of being able to really entertain, inform and connect.


Source: Inside Radio