Podcasters and producers are unionizing more frequently. The latest example is iHeartMedia who announced that the company will recognize the vote of 110 employees of its podcast division who voted for unionization in December.
The employees voted to join the Writers Guild of America (WGAE) last year. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the group includes writers, producers, and editors in Los Angeles, Atlanta, and New York.
“We now look forward to engaging in good-faith negotiations with the company and are confident that this process will ensure the continued success and stability of the podcast industry,” the iHeartPodcast Network Organizing Committee said in a statement.
The precedent for unionizing podcast teams was set by Gimlet, Parcast, and The Ringer.
The iHeartMedia podcast bargaining unit will now begin the tough job of negotiating its first-ever collective bargaining agreement.
“A union is vital to ensuring podcast workers are able to build sustainable careers in an industry where their contributions have been essential to the sector’s continued rapid growth,” said WGAE Executive Director Lowell Peterson.
The union said they will focus on raising wages, minimizing workloads on shows, standardizing role descriptions, and facilitating job growth opportunities and job security.
Ryan Hedrick works for WIBC in Indianapolis as a Morning News Anchor/Digital Content Producer. Prior to moving to Indy, he served as Assistant Program Director and Co-Host of the Morning News Express at WFMD. His career also includes stints at News Talk 103.7 FM in Chambersburg, PA, Sirius XM in Washington D.C., WBEN in Buffalo, NY, and WIBW-AM in Topeka KS where he earned the Kansas Association of Broadcasters (KAB) award for Major Market enterprise reporting in 2016. To connect with Ryan, find him on Twitter @SureToCover.
NPR Names Whitney Maddox VP of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Maddox has led diversity, equity, and inclusion training at more than 250 stations with the network since joining in 2021.
NPR has promoted Whitney Maddox to its Vice President of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.
“I am excited to be a part of shaping the company’s strategy for DE&I,” said Maddox. “I am fully aware that the reason my career has blossomed at NPR is because of my supervisor Keith Woods. Keith is the reason that I feel confident stepping into this VP role and he is the reason why I will succeed.”
Before joining NPR, Maddox worked at Georgetown University as Assistant Director of Leadership Development and Racial Justice Initiatives. She also was an adjunct professor teaching about value-based leadership.
Maddox has led diversity, equity, and inclusion training at more than 250 stations with the network since joining in 2021. After developing a program called STAR — Stand Together Against Racism — at Georgetown, Maddox implemented the training at NPR for more than 1,000 staffers.
“Since joining us nearly three years ago, Whitney has, in many ways, changed who we are and how we see ourselves as a company,” Chief Diversity Officer Keith Wood said. This promotion recognizes Whitney’s increasing influence across NPR and the larger Network and her emergent influence on the company’s direction and that of our Member stations.”
Rupert Murdoch Stepping Down as Fox Corp. Chairman
Rupert Murdoch has announced he will step down from his role leading Fox Corp. and News Corp. and will hand the reins to his son, Lachlan.
The 92-year-old shared his belief that the time is right to make the transition.
“I have decided to transition to the role of Chairman Emeritus at Fox and News”, Murdoch said, adding that Lachlan Murdoch “will become sole chairman of both companies”.
“The time is right for me to take on different roles, knowing that we have truly talented teams and a passionate, principled leader,” Murdoch said of his son.
“I am truly proud of what we have achieved collectively through the decades, and I owe much to my colleagues whose contributions to our success have sometimes been unseen outside the company but are deeply appreciated by me,” Murdoch continued.
The longtime executive said just because he is relinquishing his title doesn’t mean he will step away from the companies he built completely.
“In my new role, I can guarantee you that I will be involved every day in the contest of ideas. Our companies are communities, and I will be an active member of our community,” Rupert Murdoch wrote of his new role. “I will be watching our broadcasts with a critical eye, reading our newspapers and websites and books with much interest, and reaching out to you with thoughts, ideas, and advice.”
Murdoch’s departure comes after a new book claims he believed Fox News could settle its defamation lawsuit with Dominion Voting Systems for $50 million. The network ultimately paid a $787.5 million settlement with the voting machine company after it was accused of deliberately airing falsehoods about the validity of the 2020 Presidential election.
Murdoch began his media executive career 70 years ago by taking over The News in Adelaide, Australia after his father’s death. He went on to own hundreds of local, national, and international newspaper and book publishing outlets, and television channels during his career.
The news of Murdoch’s departure was announced during America’s Newsroom on Fox News.
“We’d like to add our gratitude, as well,” anchor Bill Hemmer said. “Rupert Murdoch created all of this and so much more across America and the globe. His life’s work has left an indelible imprint on the global media landscape. His contributions are both innumerable and extraordinary. And we thank him for letting us be a part of it all. Thank you, Rupert. And congratulations.”
Majority of Political Ad Spending Hits Battleground States
An estimated $821 million is forecasted to be spent in Arizona alone.
As the 2024 Presidential election season begins to take shape, political advertising will also ramp up. A new report shows that the majority of the spending will take place in seven battleground states.
Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin are slated to see the most political advertising, according to AdImpact. An estimated $821 million is forecasted to be spent in Arizona alone.
AdImpact shares that political advertising is expected to grow by 13% across broadcast, cable, radio, satellite, digital, and connected television in 2024. The forecasted expenditure will quadruple what was spent in the 2016 election.
The organization adds that 3.9% of all campaign advertising will be spent on radio. Meanwhile, BIA claims the industry is expected 5.3% of the media budgets from candidates.