As iHeartMedia continues its push into the podcasting world, it is trying to be good neighbors to its public radio peers. Not only is it throwing a fancy Hollywood awards show and inviting all the cool kids from Gimlet, WNYC Studios, Wondery, and American Public Media, but it is respecting its elders, too.
Today iHeartRadio announced that NPR, one of the OG’s of podcasting (seriously, they’re like Ice T and Ice Cube rolled into a one), will be honored with the first-ever iHeartRadio Podcast Pioneer Award at the inaugural iHeartRadio Podcast Awards on January 18. The award will recognize NPR as a driving, innovative force in the podcasting industry dating back to the pre-podcast digital-only show “All Songs Considered,” which debuted back in April 2000.
NPR officially entered the podcast world in August 2005 with a full slate of 174 programs, including 17 original podcasts. Less than a year later, it reached 13 million downloads for all of its podcast programming. Today, NPR has over 40 active podcasts that reach over 16 million people listening to their favorite public radio shows while wearing their favorite NPR pledge drive swag.
“When we decided to honor the biggest names in podcasting with our first awards show for podcasts, we knew we wanted to recognize NPR’s unparalleled impact on how millions of listeners consume audio content,” said Conal Byrne, president of the iHeartPodcast Network. “We’re thrilled to be able to honor their trailblazing efforts with our first-ever iHeartRadio Podcast Pioneer Award in January.”
Tune in to see the NPR podcasters hit the red carpet with their fanciest tote bags to accept this honor at the iHeartRadio Theater in Los Angeles in January, or tune into the live stream in the hopes of seeing Mario Lopez interview Ira Glass. Head to iHeartPodcastAwards.com for a complete list of nominees and voting details.