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iHeartMedia Announces The Return Of The iHeartRadio Podcast Awards On January 21, 2021


Annual Event Celebrating the Best in Podcasting Will Video Stream On iHeartRadio’s YouTube and Facebook Pages and Broadcast Across iHeartMedia Stations Nationwide and on the iHeartRadio App

Podcast of the Year Nominees Include “Bunga Bunga,” “Dolly Parton’s America,” “Nice White Parents,” “Office Ladies,” “Reply All,” “Stuff You Should Know,” “The Breakfast Club,” “The Daily,” “The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos” and “Wind of Change”

The Virtual Ceremony Will Honor the Very Best in Podcasting in 30 Categories; Baratunde Thurston, Serial Productions’ Sarah Koenig and Julie Synder and QCODE Will Receive This Year’s Icon Awards

iHeartMedia, the No. 1 podcast publisher globally according to Podtrac, announced the return of the iHeartRadio Podcast Awards on Thursday, January 21, 2021 at 9 p.m. local time. Since nominees will be unable to attend the third annual iHeartRadio Podcast Awards in person given the limitations on live events during the pandemic, this year’s virtual event will be recorded from multiple locations, span 30 categories and honor the most entertaining and innovative podcasts of 2020, celebrating the incredible talent and wide variety of leaders across the booming podcasting industry. The virtual awards event will exclusively video stream on iHeartRadio’s YouTube and Facebook pages and broadcast across iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide and on the iHeartRadio App.

Podcast fans themselves will once again decide the winner of the Podcast of the Year award by voting on Twitter through December 31, 2020. This year’s Podcast of the Year nominees include “Bunga Bunga,” “Dolly Parton’s America,” “Nice White Parents,” “Office Ladies,” “Reply All,” “Stuff You Should Know,”  “The Breakfast Club,” “The Daily,” “The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos” and “Wind of Change.” Nominees in other categories include podcasts from all creators, distributors and platforms with a judging panel composed of blue-ribbon podcast industry leaders, creatives and visionaries who will determine the winners across categories including entertainment, comedy, crime, news, sports, food, business and more. More information can be found at

In addition, the 2021 iHeartRadio Podcast Awards will present three Icon Awards to pay tribute to the creators, organizations and podcasts that have made groundbreaking contributions to podcasting’s expanding role in today’s popular culture. Baratunde Thurston will be honored with the 2021 Social Impact Award, Serial Productions’ Sarah Koenig and Julie Synder will receive the 2021 Audible Audio Pioneer Award and QCODE will be honored with the 2021 Innovator Award.

“We’re thrilled by the opportunity to recognize today’s most talented podcast creators for the third straight year at the 2021 iHeartRadio Podcast Awards,” said Conal Byrne, President of the iHeartPodcast Network. “Today, Americans are consuming more podcasts than ever before, across an increasingly broad array of subjects including business, entertainment, education, news and more as a result of how COVID-19 has affected our daily lives. And although we all won’t be in the same room this year, we’ll still be able to celebrate the best of the best in the podcast medium.”

Last year’s winners at the second annual iHeartRadio Podcast Awards included “The Dropout” (ABC News) for Podcast of the Year; “Man in the Window” (L.A. Times/Wondery) for Best Crime Podcast; “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend” (Team Coco/Earwolf)) for Best Comedy Podcast; “30 For 30” (ESPN) for Best Sports and Recreation Podcast; Nora McInerny (American Public Media) for Best Overall Host – Female and Aaron Mahnke (Lore) for Best Overall Host – Male, among many other categories and winners. In addition, the iHeartRadio Podcast Awards honored the New York Times’ “1619” podcast with the Icon Social Impact Award, NPR’s “Life Kit” with the Icon Innovator Award and Tenderfoot TV’s Payne Lindsey and Donald Albright with the Icon Audible Audio Pioneer Award.

The event also featured appearances by award nominees, an array of celebrity presenters and other special guests including Will Ferrell,  Conan O’Brien, Sebastian Maniscalco, Ashley Iaconetti and Jared Haibon, Becca Tilley, Brooke Burke, Brooks Laich, Dean Unglert, Eric Winter and Roselyn Sanchez, Gavin DeGraw, Kaitlyn Bristowe, Meghan King Edmonds, Nick Viall, Stassi Schroeder, Teddi Mellencamp and Yeardley Smith as well as podcast nominees Aaron Mahnke, Holly Frey, Jake Brennan, Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant, plus many more. In addition, the event also featured iHeartRadio top on-air personalities Tanya Rad, Ellen K, The Breakfast Club’s Charlamagne Tha God, Angela Yee and DJ Envy as well as Enrique Santos.

Podcast listenership in the United States alone has grown exponentially with listening now exceeding 50 percent of the population. iHeartMedia, which reaches a quarter of a billion monthly listeners in the U.S. with just its broadcast radio stations and on-air personalities alone, will celebrate the best in podcasts with existing fans, while also continuing to introduce millions of new listeners to this incredible medium every single day.

Category finalists (in alphabetical order) are:

Podcast of the Year: Socially Voted Category

  • “Bunga Bunga” (Wondery)
  • “Dolly Parton’s America” (WNYC Studios/OSM Audio)
  • “Nice White Parents” (Serial/The New York Times)
  • “Office Ladies” (Earwolf /Jenna Fischer/Angela Kinsey)
  • “Reply All” (Gimlet)
  • “Stuff You Should Know” (iHeartRadio)
  • “The Breakfast Club” (iHeartRadio)
  • “The Daily” (The New York Times)
  • “The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos” (Pushkin Industries)
  • “Wind of Change” (Crooked/Pineapple Street Media/Spotify)

Best Business & Finance Podcast:

  • “Business Wars” (Wondery)
  • “Earn Your Leisure” (Independent)
  • “Freakonomics” (Freakonomics Radio & Stitcher)
  • “How I Built This” (NPR)
  • “Pivot” (New York Magazine) 

Best Comedy Podcast:

  • “Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend” (Team Coco/Earwolf)
  • “Office Ladies” (Earwolf/Jenna Fischer/Angela Kinsey)
  • “The Read” (Loud Speakers Network)
  • “Smartless” (Independent)
  • “Fake Doctors, Real Friends” (iHeartRadio)

Best Crime Podcast:

  • “Crime Junkie” (AudioChuck)
  • “Criminal” (PRX/Radiotopia)
  • “Deep Cover: The Drug Wars” (Pushkin Industries)
  • “Forgotten: Women of Juarez” (iHeartRadio)
  • “My Favorite Murder” (Exactly Right)

Best Pop Culture Podcast:

  • “Bitch Sesh” (Earwolf/Casey Wilson/Danielle Schneider)
  • “Las Culturistas” (Big Money Players/iHeartRadio)
  • “Pop Culture Happy Hour” (NPR)
  • “Still Processing” (The New York Times)
  • “The Read” (Loud Speakers Network)

Best Food Podcast:

  • “Burnt Toast” (Food52)
  • “Gastropod” (Independent)
  • “Home Cooking” (Samin Nosrat/Hrishikesh Hirway)
  • “Spilled Milk” (Molly Wizenberg & Matthew Amster-Burton)
  • “The Sporkful” (Dan Pashman/Stitcher)

Best Wellness & Fitness Podcast:

  • “Happier with Gretchen Rubin” (Gretchen Rubin/The Onward Project)
  • “On Purpose with Jay Shetty” (Jay Shetty & Kast Media)
  • “Sleep with Me” (Dearest Scooter & Night Vale Presents)
  • “Ten Percent Happier” (ABC News)
  • “Therapy For Black Girls” (Joy Harden Bradford/iHeartRadio)

Best History Podcast:

  • “Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History” (Dan Carlin)
  • “Noble Blood” (iHeartRadio)
  • “Revisionist History” (Pushkin Industries)
  • “Slow Burn” (Slate)
  • “Throughline” (NPR)

Best Kids & Family Podcast:

  • “But Why: A Podcast For Kids” (Vermont Public Radio)
  • “Hank The Cowdog” (QCODE & HTC Productions)
  • “Smash Boom Best” (APM)
  • “Story Pirates” (Gimlet)
  • “Wow In The World” (NPR)

Best Music Podcast:

  • “Bobbycast” (The Nashville Podcast Network)
  • “Broken Record” (Pushkin Industries)
  • “Disgraceland” (Jake Brennan)
  • “Dolly Parton’s America” (WNYC & OSM Audio)
  • “Song Exploder” (Hrishikesh Hirway)

Best News Podcast:

  • “Pod Save America” (Crooked Media) 
  • “The Daily” (The New York Times)
  • “The Journal.” (The Wall Street Journal/Gimlet) 
  • “Today, Explained” (Vox)
  • “Up First” (NPR)

Best Fiction Podcast:

  • “Blood Ties” (Wondery)
  • “Borrasca” (QCODE)
  • “Dirty Diana” (QCODE)
  • “The Left Right Game” (QCODE)
  • “Welcome To Night Vale” (Night Vale Presents)

Best Sports Podcast:

  • “All The Smoke” (The Black Effect)
  • “Fantasy Footballers” (Fantasy Football)
  • “Pardon My Take” (Barstool Sports)
  • “The Bill Simmons Podcast” (The Ringer/Bill Simmons)
  • “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” (iHeartRadio) 

Best Science Podcast:

  • “Hidden Brain” (NPR)
  • “Invisibilia” (NPR)
  • “Radiolab” (WNYC Studios)
  • “Science Vs.” (Gimlet)
  • “Stuff To Blow Your Mind” (iHeartRadio)

Best Technology Podcast:

  • “Rabbit Hole” (The New York Times)
  • “Recode by Vox” (Recode)
  • “Reply All” (Gimlet)
  • “TED Radio Hour” (NPR)
  • “Waveform” (Studio71)

Best Ad Read:

  • “Comedy Bang Bang” (Earwolf / Scott Aukerman)
  • “Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend” (Team Coco/Earwolf)
  • “Hollywood Handbook” (Earwolf)
  • “Office Ladies” (Earwolf / Stitcher)
  • “Revisionist History” (Pushkin Industries)

Best Overall Host – Male:

  • Conan O’Brien (Team Coco/Earwolf)
  • Dax Shepard (Armchair Umbrella)

  • Jonathan Van Ness (Earwolf/Stitcher)

  • Michael Barbaro (The New York Times)
  • Questlove (iHeartRadio)

Best Overall Host – Female:

  • Ashley Flowers (Parcast)
  • Brené Brown (Parcast)
  • Michelle Obama (Higher Ground/Spotify)
  • Nicole Byer (Headgum)
  • Nora McInerny (APM)

Best Political Podcast:

  • “FiveThirtyEight Politics” (FiveThirtyEight/538/ABC News, Nate Silver)
  • “NPR Politics” (NPR)
  • “Pod Save America” (Crooked Media)
  • “Political Gabfest” (Slate)
  • “Stay Tuned with Preet” (Cafe)

Best TV & Film Podcast:

  • “Fake Doctors, Real Friends” (iHeartRadio)
  • “How Did This Get Made?” (Earwolf/Paul Scheer/June Diane Raphael/Jason Mantzoukas/Stitcher)
  • “Office Ladies” (Earwolf/Jenna Fischer/Angela Kinsey)
  • “Rewatchables” (The Ringer/Bill Simmons)
  • “You Must Remember This” (Karina Longworth) 

Best Spanish Language Podcast:

  • “Duolingo Spanish Podcast” (Duolingo)
  • “La Nota Roja” (Imperative Entertainment/Blue Guitar)
  • “Leyendas Legendarias” (Sonoro/All Things Comedy)

  • “Radio Ambulante” (NPR) 

  • “Spanish Aqui Presents” (Earwolf /Spanish Aqui Presents)

Best Advice/Inspirational Podcast:

  • “Dear Prudence” (Slate)
  • “Dear Sugars” (WBUR/The New York Times)
  • “Terrible, Thanks For Asking” (APM)
  • “Unlocking Us with Brené Brown” (Parcast)
  • “Where Should We Begin with Esther Perel” (Esther Perel Global Media/Gimlet)

Best Beauty & Fashion Podcast:

  • “Articles of Interest” (Avery Trufelman/99% Invisible)
  • “Beauty Needs Me” (Independent)
  • “Blamo!” (Independent)
  • “Dressed: The History of Fashion” (iHeartRadio)
  • “Forever 35” (Independent)

Best Travel Podcast:

  • “Escape” (WEBVID)
  • “Extra Pack of Peanuts” (Independent)
  • “JUMP with Traveling Jackie” (Independent)
  • “Let’s Go Together” (Travel & Leisure)
  • “Travel with Rick Steves” (Rick Steves)

Best Spirituality & Religion Podcast:

  • “Calm It Down” (Independent)
  • “Doing Great with Vicky Vox” (Earwolf & Vicky Vox)
  • “Elevation with Steven Furtick” (Independent)
  • “On Being with Krista Tippett” (Independent)
  • “Whoa That’s Good Podcast” (Independent)

Best Green Podcast:

  • “America Adapts” (Independent)
  • “Broken Ground” (Southern Environmental Law Center)
  • “Citizens’ Climate Lobby” (Citizens’ Climate Lobby)
  • “Costing The Earth” (BBC Radio 4)
  • “How To Save A Planet” (Gimlet) 

Best Branded Podcast:

  • “Bring Back Bronco” (Ford)
  • “Hackable?” (McAfee)
  • “Humans Growing Stuff” (ScottsMiracle-Gro)
  • “Inside Trader Joe’s” (Trader Joe’s)
  • “The Only Way Is Through” (Under Armour) 

The 2021 iHeartRadio Podcast Awards is part of iHeartMedia’s roster of incredibly successful, nationally-recognized events, including the iHeartRadio Music Awards, the iHeartRadio Music Festival, the nationwide iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Concert Tour, iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina, iHeartCountry Festival, iHeartRadio ALTer Ego and iHeartRadio Wango Tango.

Select category winners will be announced during the virtual show and stream with more details to be shared soon. For more information visit

Executive producers for the iHeartRadio Podcast Awards are John Sykes, Tom Poleman and Conal Byrne for iHeartMedia and Deviants Media Studio founder Ivan Dudynsky and Buzz Chatman. Proud sponsors of this year’s event include Audible with more to be announced.

About iHeartMedia

iHeartMedia (NASDAQ: IHRT) is the number one audio company in the United States, reaching nine out of 10 Americans every month – and with its quarter of a billion monthly listeners, has a greater reach than any other media company in the U.S. The company’s leadership position in audio extends across multiple platforms, including more than 850 live broadcast stations in over 160 markets nationwide; through its iHeartRadio digital service available across more than 250 platforms and 2,000 devices; through its influencers; social; branded iconic live music events; other digital products and newsletters; and podcasts as the #1 commercial podcast publisher. iHeartMedia also leads the audio industry in analytics, targeting and attribution for its marketing partners with its SmartAudio product, using data from its massive consumer base. Visit for more company information.

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