By Peter White
Imagine Entertainment is launching a podcast division and has struck a deal with iHeartMedia.
Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s production company will develop and co-produce a slate of unscripted podcasts as part of the partnership.
The deal will see six new series launched over the next two years, distributed via the iHeartPodcast Network.
Imagine Audio will be oversee by Imagine’s Chief Strategy Officer, Justin Wilkes and led by producer Kara Welker, who has exec produced comedy specials such as Patton Oswalt: Annihilation and Pete Holmes: Faces and Sounds.
Summer Sagansky has also joined the division as a Creative Executive.
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It is the latest exclusive podcast deal for iHeartMedia, which has recently partnered with the likes of Bloomberg, the NBA and the NFL for original audio series. iHeartPodcast Network currently has more than 750 original podcasts.
Wilkes said that audio is a “fantastic incubator” for IP development and the company will create podcasts as well as “fully immersive experiences” that will extend into TV, film, live events, tour and merchandise.
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