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Imagine Audio Launches Podcast Deal with iHeartMedia


iHeartMedia
iHeartMedia

Imagine Entertainment Chairs Brian Grazer and Ron Howard announced the launch of their new podcast division, Imagine Audio, fueled by a slate deal with iHeartMedia. The agreement includes a slate of co-produced, unscripted podcasts, further expanding Imagine's IP verticals beyond the traditional screens. The partnership will collaborate to launch six new series over the next two years distributed through the iHeartPodcast Network. The division will be overseen by Imagine's Chief Strategy Officer Justin Wilkes and led by producer Kara Welker.

"We couldn't be more excited to have iHeart as our partner as we launch the Imagine brand into the audio space," said Imagine's Justin Wilkes. "Audio has proven to be a fantastic incubator and engine for IP development and between our connectivity to talent and storytellers, as well as our ability to create high-quality content, we're incredibly well positioned to enter the category."

Imagine Audio will take a 360 approach to content across its brand by not only creating podcasts, but experiences that will extend into TV, film, live events and tours and merchandise, while utilizing all of Imagine's divisions and library of IP. Imagine Audio will produce premium scripted and non-scripted content that benefits from the high production value. The division is currently working with established talent as well as new voices across a slate audio productions in development and production which will be announced in the new year.

Welker, who is also a talent manager and producer, brings years of expertise of spotting talent and stories, and developing her clients and their projects into multi-platform revenue generators. Summer Sagansky has also joined the division as a Creative Executive.

"Imagine stands for the very highest quality content -- behind some of the greatest film, TV and digital content the world has seen," said iHeartMedia Digital Audio Group CEO Conal Byrne. "As the largest podcast network in the world, our goal is simple and consistent: We want to work with the most innovative, passionate storytellers in the world - producers who don't just work in mediums, but who pioneer them. That's Imagine."

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