“An unfiltered version of the human experience.” That is the ethereal concept guiding new podcast network Lemonada Media, founded by award-winning podcaster Jessica Cordova Kramer and best-selling author Stephanie Wittels Wachs. Lemonada will partner with Westwood One to distribute, sell, and market its original shows.
Launching in September, the new net paints its persona as “content that is raw and real, sorting through the ugliness, weirdness, awkwardness and darkness life can bring.” Three original series define its ethos: “Last Day” (launching Sept. 25), “As Me with Sinéad” (Oct. 24) and “Good Kids: How Not to Raise an A**Hole” (Nov. 26).
Cordova Kramer met Wittels Wachs in 2017, shortly after both women lost their brothers to opioid overdoses. Hearing Wittels Wachs talking about her brother on the “Terrible Thanks for Asking” podcast, Cordova Kramer felt understood and less alone in her grief; she even laughed, explains a press release about the launch of Lemonada. The women connected over their shared experiences and the idea to bring the company to life was hatched: “Turn lemons into lemonade, one podcast at a time.”
Notable guests across all three shows include actress Jamie Lee Curtis; comedians Sarah Silverman, Tig Notaro and Aziz Ansari; author Reza Aslan; actress Mara Wilson; activist DeRay McKesson; songwriter Justin Tranter; and filmmaker Kulap Vilaysack. Lemonada recently signed an exclusive podcasting deal with activist Sinéad Burke to host “As Me with Sinéad.”
“Our goal is to make shows that help people get out of bed in the morning, that help people deal with the hardest sh*t in their lives,” says Cordova Kramer. Adds Wittels Wachs, “Community is a life jacket. Over half of Americans say they feel alone. It doesn’t have to be that way.”
Suzanne Grimes, EVP, Marketing for Cumulus Media & President, Westwood One, added in the release, “Our partnership with Lemonada, which is women-founded and women-run, diversifies the Westwood One Podcast Network as Jessica and Stephanie break new ground. Their candid approach to tackling the intricate issues of our daily lives will resonate with the millions of Americans looking for light in the shadows.”
Cordova Kramer is a Minneapolis-based executive producer of the “Pod Save the People” podcast with Crooked Media. The show has won multiple Webby awards and is now in its third season. She began her career as a Wall Street lawyer who moonlighted on pro bono domestic violence and refugee cases. Wittels Wachs is the author of “Everything is Horrible and Wonderful: A Tragicomic Memoir of Genius, Heroin, Love and Loss.” A theater director and well-known voice actor, she also has a decade of experience as an arts educator.