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Spotify Enlists Former CBS News Chief David Rhodes as Consultant for Podcast Push

In its ongoing foray into podcasting, Spotify inked a deal with David Rhodes, formerly president of CBS News, as a consultant to develop its strategy for news-focused original audio programming.

In addition, Spotify has hired Amy Hudson, most recently Facebook’s head of sports media partnerships for North America, to lead the company’s sports podcasting development efforts. She joined Spotify in July and reports to Liz Gateley, head of creative development for the Spotify Studios podcast group.

Spotify confirmed the news about Rhodes and Hudson, first reported by the Information.

Rhodes exited CBS News in January after eight years at the broadcast news org, replaced in the job by veteran news producer Susan Zirinksy. Rhodes had said in a parting note to CBS News staffers that he would embark on new opportunities, saying “it’s the right time for me to make a change.”

Spotify has made a significant bet on the growth of podcasting, acquiring three companies – Gimlet Media, Anchor and Parcast – earlier this year and telling investors it would spend upwards of $500 million on M&A in the space in 2019.

The streaming-audio company also inked an exclusive podcast pact with former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground Productions. Gateley, former head of programming at Lifetime, joined Spotify this spring and since then she and her team have inked some 30 development deals for original podcast shows, including with the Obamas and Kevin Bacon for meta-comedy “I’m Gonna Be Kevin Bacon” from Funny Or Die. Gateley reports to Courtney Holt, global head of Spotify Studios.

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