Westwood One’s Podcast Leap Designed To ‘Empow(h)er’


If you didn’t think Cumulus Media was serious about diving into the burgeoning podcast marketplace, think again.

Its Westwood One national audio arm revealed Thursday at the IAB Podcast Upfront seminar in New York that it is launching an entire podcast network — one devoted to women’s empowerment.

Introducing The Empow(h)er Podcast Network, debuting with nine podcast series to inspire the medium’s female audience.

The launch by WWO of the network comes as growth in time spent by women listening to podcasts on a weekly basis — according to Westwood One research — is six times faster than that of men over the last year.

Among the series tied to the Empow(h)er Podcast Network is the politically focused “Run Like a Girl,” which shines a nonpartisan light on women running for office in the hopes of helping elect more women to the halls of power. Each week listeners will meet a different female candidate for elected office.

Through Election Day, the series will give listeners exclusive access to the Gretchen Whitmer campaign, a gubernatorial contest underway in Michigan.

Westwood One reports that “several brands” are already supporting the show, including San Francisco-based subscription meal delivery service Sun Basket.

Another featured podcast is “On Her Turf,” from NBC Sports Group. The show is based on the popular Instagram account of the same name and celebrates female athletes. The series kicks off September 19.

“It’s undeniable that women are a cultural force with momentum like never before, which is why the time is now to launch The Empow(h)er Podcast Network,” said Suzanne Grimes, EVP/Marketing for Cumulus Media and Westwood One President. “Women are listening to more podcasts than ever, and brands recognize this, as many have already come on board to support women and this new network.”

Other series coming to The Empow(h)er Podcast Network include Suze Orman’s Women & Money podcast; Straight Talk with Ross Mathews; Pop Talk with Ross Mathews; country music focused Women Want to Hear Women with Elaina Smith; Bad Mamas with Jayde featuring WPLJ-FM in New York morning co-host Jayde Donovan and weekends on her Westwood One nationally syndicated show Jayde. “Bad Mamas” launches February 7, 2019.

Also featuring Donovan is 40 Weeks with Jayde Donovan, in which she shares her tale of “a beautiful—and brutally honest—journey” about what it’s like to be pregnant. It is a 40-episode podcast series designed for pregnant women and debuts March 18, 2019.

Lastly, BLK + in Grad School chronicles the experiences of Allanté Whitmore, a black woman navigating academia as she pursues her Ph.D. The show was created to encourage and inspire women and people of color to embark on the graduate school journey.

In addition, BLK + in Grad is the first Westwood One “Pitch Winner,” discovered through the interactive “Westwood One Pitch Pod” mobile-studio at the recent Podcast Movement conference in Philadelphia.

“BLK + in Grad School” is independent now but is joining Westwood One this fall.