Pride Radio, iHeartRadio’s music channel targeting the LGBTQ community, will now have a spoken word companion thanks to an alliance between iHeart and America’s largest publisher of magazines targeting the community. Pride Media, which produces Out, The Advocate and Pride magazines, will bring a slate of podcasts to iHeartRadio beginning later this year.
“We’ve seen the power of podcasting firsthand, and we’re looking forward to collaborating with the leading podcast platform to create shows that we know our audience will love,” said Orlando Reece, Interim CEO at Pride Media. “By combining our established brand with iHeart’s massive scale, we’ll be able to reach even more LGBTQ+ individuals across the country through audio,” he said in the announcement.
The partnership will kick off with the launch of The Outcast, a new iHeartRadio Original podcast co-produced with Out Magazine. Hosted by Fran Tirado, Deputy Editor of Out Magazine, the weekly show will explore queer and queer-adjacent topics as they pertain to politics, pop culture, fashion, relationships, and money.
“A podcast by the world’s premiere queer media brand is long overdue, and I am more than honored to help it along the way,” said Tirado. “Podcasting and audio storytelling, particularly in the LGBTQ+ space, needs more voices in it. I can’t wait to help elevate and uplift those voices.”
Each episode of The Outcast will take a deep dive into one theme or story — some tied to timely news topics, others evergreen — expanding on something that appears in that month’s Out magazine. The first episode of The Outcast will launch on July 18.
Another show in the works is Food 4 Thot, a podcast hosted by four queer men who discuss sex, relationships, race and identity. It’s slated to debut on the iHeartPodcast Network this month. In addition, iHeartMedia and Pride Media will co-create and launch a slate of other new podcasts during the next year.
“At iHeartMedia, our goal is to connect exceptional content with diverse audiences,” said Conal Byrne, President of iHeartMedia Podcast Network. “Pride Media has been an authentic voice for the LGBTQ+ community for years, and this partnership would not be possible without their unique expertise.” iHeart says it now has more than 750 iHeartRadio Originals as part of a lineup of more than 25,000 podcasts on its platform.
The Pride Media podcast partnership follows an announcement last month that iHeartMedia would expand the reach of its Pride Radio digital format to broadcast stations in 12 additional cities. The move means Pride Radio now airs on HD2 channels in 29 cities, including each of the top 10 markets.
The company also named Don Parker General Manager for Pride Radio last month. He’ll oversee day-to-day programming, marketing, sales and operations while iHeart says it’s conducting a national search for a program director for Pride Radio, reporting to Parker.