You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Will Ferrell Forms Comedy Podcast Company With iHeartMedia

Will Ferrell wants to grab more people by the ears.

The actor, comedian and producer has formed Big Money Players Network, a podcast company focused on comedy shows, in partnership with radio and podcast giant iHeartMedia. The new venture plans to produce and launch 10 podcasts in the next 24 months, starting to roll out in 2020. The deal between Ferrell and iHeartMedia was brokered by UTA.

Ferrell already dipped a toe into the podcast stream with iHeartRadio as host of “The Ron Burgundy Podcast,” reprising his daft “Anchorman” character. The show debuted earlier in 2019 and has consistently ranked among the top 100 podcasts in the U.S.

The podcast format has been around for well over a decade, but its surge in popularity over recent years has spurred new interest from a wave of Hollywood talent, media companies and tech platforms — including Conan O’Brien, the Obamas and Spotify — looking to cash in on audio listeners.

Ferrell commented, “The iHeartPodcast Network has been such a pleasure to work with. I love hanging out in the offices and I’ve only been yelled at once for using someone’s computer, which I shouldn’t have done.”

According to the parties, the Big Money Players Network will recruit top comedic talent for a variety of podcast formats and styles, spanning both scripted and unscripted. be available on iHeartRadio and everywhere else podcasts are heard.

“We’ve worked extremely close with Will over the past year and our listeners love what we’ve offered them so far,” said Conal Byrne, president of the iHeartPodcast Network. “The creative opportunities that an iHeart and Will Ferrell collaboration offer are limitless.”

When UTA was looking to expand Ferrell’s podcast presence, it zeroed in on iHeartMedia because “they have an innate understanding of the podcasting landscape and will help bring this partnership to the next level,” said UTA head of emerging platforms Oren Rosenbaum.

Ferrell is next set to star in comedy feature “Eurovision” and drama “Downhill.” He also is a producer on several recent film and TV projects including “Succession,” “Dead to Me,” “Hustlers,” “Booksmart” and “Vice.”

As part of its strategy to exploit podcasting, iHeartMedia in 2018 acquired HowStuffWorks for $55 million. The company’s ongoing slate of original podcasts include “Disgraceland,” “Chelsea Handler: Life will be the Death of Me,” “Noble Blood” and “Committed,” alongside more than 100 shows from its on-air radio talent like “Bobbycast” and “The Breakfast Club.” The shows shows are distributed on all major podcast platforms, including the iHeartRadio app, which hosts more than 250,000 podcast shows.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • knives Out

    ‘Knives Out’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Lionsgate claims the top spot in spending with “Knives Out.” Ads placed for the drama had an estimated media value of $6.23 million through Sunday for 514 national ad airings on 28 networks. (Spend [...]

  • Disney-Plus-Logo

    Disney Plus Launch Snafus: What Went Wrong?

    For some users, Disney Plus was a Disney Minus on its big launch day Tuesday. In its Nov. 12 debut, the service was beset by multiple problems, including Disney Plus customers being unable to log in to the service, access specific content, or use certain streaming devices — while some who called Disney’s customer service [...]

  • YouTube Taps Shana Tepper as Head

    YouTube Taps Shana Tepper as Head of Entertainment Communications

    YouTube has tapped Shana Tepper as its head of entertainment communications. In her new role, Tepper will lead all press and communications strategies for YouTube Originals series and specials focused on personalities, artists and learning. Tepper joins YouTube from Viacom, where she most recently served as vice president of communications for Comedy Central and Paramount [...]

  • Richard Plepler HBO

    Former HBO Chief Richard Plepler Close to Signing Apple TV Plus Production Pact

    Former HBO chief Richard Plepler is close to signing an exclusive production pact with Apple TV Plus. Apple declined to comment and Plepler could not immediately be reached for comment. It’s understood that Plepler plans to launch a boutique production company designed to focus on a handful of high-profile projects. Among his advisors in pulling [...]

  • Sonos Spotify partnership

    Sonos Speakers Get Free Spotify Streaming

    Sonos owners just got access to another source for free music: The smart speaker maker has struck a deal with Spotify to stream Spotify’s free tier to its users, both companies announced Tuesday. Free Spotify streams are going live on Sonos devices with the latest Sonos software update, which also includes an updated version of [...]

  • looking glass display

    Looking Glass Factory Unveils 8K Holographic Display

    Holographic display hardware startup Looking Glass Factory unveiled its first real product Tuesday: the Looking Glass 8K Immersive Display aims to provide companies with a way to view 3D assets as holograms, without the need to use VR headsets. The product is being sold into the enterprise market, but the company also has plans to [...]

  • Star Wars The Mandalorian

    Why Wall Street Is Feeling Bullish as Disney Plus Blasts Off

    Bob Iger has presided over many launches during his 14 years as Disney CEO: a theme park in Shanghai, state-of-the-art cruise ships, “Star Wars”- and “Avatar”-themed immersive attractions and even a cinematic universe requiring billions of dollars of investment in Marvel movies. But nothing in his tenure has drawn the level of scrutiny that has [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content