The Woj Pod, the sports podcast hosted by ESPN’s senior NBA reporter Adrian Wojnarowski, is bouncing from Cadence13 to ESPN Podcasts starting July 1. ESPN says The Woj Pod will remain a weekly podcast but it plans to publish more frequently around big events on the NBA calendar.
“ESPN is committed to our podcast business, and as an exclamation point on that, we’re thrilled to have the Woj Pod in-house,” said Tom Ricks, ESPN vice president, digital strategy and marketing within ESPN Audio. “Based on Woj’s unrivaled reputation, his connections in the league, coupled with ESPN’s ability to present this content in unique ways, we look forward to continuing to serve basketball fans in the podcast space.”
Launched in July 2017, The Woj Pod bills itself as a show that digs into the NBA with not only longer sit-down interviews in ESPN’s studios, but also real-time podcasts with league personnel built around breaking news. Wojnarowski said the focus of the podcast will not change, even as it moves to a new distributor. “We will continue to sit down with many of the NBA’s biggest stars and most influential decision-makers, and we will also add elements framed around high-volume news cycles,” he said, but added, “ESPN will help bring an entirely new and fresh dynamic to the show.”
Wojnarowski is already primed for cross-promotion since he is heard frequently on ESPN Radio, he appears on ESPN television shows, and he also writes for ESPN.com. “We plan to use ESPN platforms and our multimedia promotional power to grow the podcast’s audience,” Ricks said.
ESPN launched its first podcast in 2005 and last year it says total downloads of its portfolio of 62 shows grew 43%. In April ESPN posted a 21% month-to-month increase in its unique U.S. monthly audience, according to Podtrac. But it’s also seen rival Barstool Sports overtake it in the Podtrac ranker, despite having less than half the number of shows in its portfolio. In April, Barstool Sports’ 28 shows had 6.3 million unique listeners in the U.S. compared to 5.4 million for ESPN.