Radio personality Charlamagne Tha God – who this year made a big move into podcasting with the launch of his Black Effect Podcast Network – will remain with iHeartMedia. He has signed a new deal with iHeart that will keep him at the helm of the hip-hop/R&B “Power 105.1” WWPR-FM New York-based “The Breakfast Club” syndicated show that has become radio’s biggest on-demand podcast. Under the new five-year agreement, Charlamagne will develop an interview show that will not only be a podcast but also air quarterly on iHeart stations. That will be in addition to the new TV talk show he is set to launch next year on Comedy Central.
The 42-year old Charlamagne – real name Lenard Larry McKelvey– formed a 50-50 partnership with iHeart to launch the new Black Effect Podcast Network, which will feature a variety of Black voices with content across a variety of genres. The venture will feature a lineup of podcasts curated by the radio host. It will also produce limited series podcasts in conjunction with high-profile creators and talent, musical artists, actors, actresses, sports and literary superstars to support their upcoming films, music releases and related projects. It has had more than ten million downloads so far.
Charlamagne will also take on the new role as Senior Creative Officer of Culture Content and Programming. It will involve discovering and curating new talent and programming for radio and podcasts and developing productions and community initiatives.
“I give my sincerest thanks to iHeart for empowering me over the past decade to be the best talent that I can be, and for honoring me as an owner and executive,” said Charlamagne in a statement. “I love the audio business and iHeart is the biggest and best audio company in the world. As co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of the Black Effect Podcast Network and now Senior Creative Officer of Cultural Content and Programming at iHeart, all I want to do for the next five years is to continue to move the culture of radio and podcasting forward by curating a new era of voices, programming, and events.”
Radio’s “The Breakfast Club” which Charlamagne hosts with Angela Yee and DJ Envy is currently heard by more than 4.5 million listeners each week according to iHeart. It has become a go-to interview stop hosting guests including President Barack Obama, President-elect Joe Biden, and VP-elect Kamala Harris to Snoop Dog, Jay-Z, and Dr. Anthony Fauci in recent months. “The Breakfast Club” was inducted this year into the Radio Hall of Fame.
“Charlamagne is a multiplatform talent, creator and innovator and we are excited to extend our existing partnership,” said Thea Mitchem, EVP of Programming for iHeartMedia. “His voice continues to be unique and authentic and a driving force and influence in today’s hip hop and pop culture,” she said in the announcement.
In addition to his iHeart deal, Charlamagne has also partnered with actor Kevin Hart on a joint effort to bring more diverse content to Audible, the audiobook and podcast platform owned by Amazon. The goal is to give rise to Black creatives and the stories born from their unique perspectives.
He has also launched the Black Privilege Publishing imprint with Atria Books at Simon & Schuster. Like what Charlemagne is doing in audio, he seeks to bring more diverse voices to book publishing as well by focusing on emerging and renowned Black voices. The inaugural release on Black Privilege Publishing will be author Tamika D. Mallory’s debut, State of Emergency, due out in May 2021.