Shonda Rhimes Is About to Get Away With Podcasting, Inks New Deal With iHeartMedia

Shonda Rhimes speaks onstage during ELLE’s 25th Annual Women In Hollywood Celebration on October 15, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.
Photo: Neilson Barnard (Getty Images for ELLE Magazine)

If you thought Shonda Rhimes was just taking over your Thursday nights, think again! The television mogul is adding to the world of podcasts!

That’s right, your next earworm is about to involve some Shondaland drama.

According to Variety, Rhimes’ production company, Shondaland, has announced a three-year partnership with iHeartMedia to launch Shondaland Audio. Rhimes will oversee development for the new slate of podcasts as part of the iHeartPodcast Network. Shondaland’s chief digital and design officer, Sandie Bailey, will manage day-to-day operations.

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Shondaland is already present in the podcast world; the company’s website produces a weekly podcast called Katie’s Crib, hosted by Katie Lowes (Scandal).

“Podcasting continues to see tremendous growth and I’m excited to partner with iHeartMedia as Shondaland expands its storytelling journey into this medium which has seemed to usher in a unique sense of boldness, intimacy and connection,” Rhimes said. “With iHeartMedia we aim to share stories that are engaging, insightful, and reflect a robust world-view while staying true to the authentic storytelling voice that has become synonymous with Shondaland.”

Variety adds:

Earlier this week, iHeartMedia announced that it was creating a comedy podcast venture with Will Ferrell.

Rhimes and Ferrell join the growing wave of interest in cashing in on audio content, alongside the likes of Conan O’Brien, President Barack and Michelle Obama and Oprah. In the U.S., the number of weekly podcast listeners has more than doubled in the past five years, from 28 million in 2015 to 62 million in 2019, according to a study by Edison Research and Triton Digital.

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Since long-form storytelling is one of the most popular types of podcasts with the success of Serial and Welcome to Night Vale to name a few), I can totally see Rhimes diving headfirst into that particular swimming pool. I could also envision an interview series with the girl bosses in her circle. The possibilities are endless.

“Shonda Rhimes is one of the greatest storytellers of our time,” Conal Byrne, president of the iHeartPodcast Network, noted. “We’re honored that she’s chosen the iHeartPodcast Network to extend her storytelling craft to audio, bringing a massive slate of new original podcasts to the world.”

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About the author

Tonja Renée Stidhum

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.