The Black Effect Podcast Network is slated to debut this fall with 18 podcasts on iHeartRadio and other podcast platforms, curated by Charlamagne. According to iHeartMedia, the venture is positioned to become the world’s largest podcast publisher dedicated to Black listeners and voices in Black culture.
Under the deal, Charlamagne’s popular nationally syndicated radio show, “The Breakfast Club,” will bring its replay podcast to the Black Effect Podcast Network as its flagship show effective immediately. The show, which averages over 4.5 million weekly listeners, is syndicated by iHeartMedia’s Premiere Networks.
Other creators in the Black Effect Podcast Network will include comedian-actress Jess Hilarious, social justice activist Tamika Mallory, and attorney and TV host Eboni K. Williams. Charlamagne and iHeartMedia also have agreements to bring other podcasts to the Black Effect Network, including “All The Smoke,” “Drink Champs” and “The 85 South Show.”
Additionally, the parties plan for the Black Effect Podcast Network to produce limited-series podcasts in conjunction with creators, music artists, actors, and sports stars to support their upcoming films, music releases, and related projects.
“Blackness has an immediate, culture-shifting effect on everything,” Charlamagne Tha God said in a statement. “Blackness controls the cool. Blackness is the culture, but Black Voices are not monolithic. The only way to appreciate the diversity of thought and experiences in Black culture is to build a platform for those voices to be heard.”
The vision for the Black Effect Podcast Network, he added, is “to amplify, elevate, and empower emerging and established talent. Our goal is to shift the narrative from Black creators signing transactional deals, to instead forming legacy partnerships that build generational wealth while allowing each creative to have an equitable stake in their future. As a long-time partner of iHeart, it’s an honor to make history with them.”
All shows on the Black Effect Podcast Network will be distributed through the iHeartPodcast Network, which hosts more than 750 original podcasts spanning genres including business, sports, spirituality, technology, entertainment, family, comedy and true crime. The company’s podcasts are distributed on all major podcast platforms, including the iHeartRadio app.
“As our country’s No. 1 audio company and podcaster, we have both the responsibility and the opportunity to give new voices a massive audience platform for creativity and innovation — and for important ideas that need to be heard,” Bob Pittman, chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia, said in announcing the deal for the Black Effect. “Charlamagne Tha God is an unparalleled multiplatform creator whose impact extends across radio, digital, social, TV, events and podcasts.”
The Black Effect Podcast Network launch lineup will include: “Drink Champs” with N.O.R.E and DJ EFN; “All the Smoke” with Matt Barnes; “The 85 South Show” with Karlous Miller, DC Young Fly and Chico Bean; “Whoreible Decisions” with Mandii B and Weezy; “Dropping Gems” with Devi Brown; “Holding Court” with Eboni K. Williams; “Carefully Reckless” with Jess Hilarious; “Street Politicians” with Tamika Mallory and Mysonne; “Hot Happy Mess” with Zuri Hall; “Untitled” with Bonang Matheba; “Hello Somebody” with Senator Nina Turner; “P.O.D.” with Ashley and Tammy; “Straight Shot No Chaser” with Tezlyn Figaro; “Laugh and Learn” with Flame Monroe (executive produced by Tiffany Haddish); “Checking In” with Michelle Williams; “Cut To It” with Steven Smith Sr.; “No Ceilings” with Glasses Malone; and “Gangster Chronicles” with MC EIHT, Reggie Wright Jr. and James McDonald.
Charlamagne Tha God’s deal with iHeartMedia was negotiated by ICM Partners and attorney Loan Dang.
Charlamagne Tha God (real name Lenard McKelvey) is set to be inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in October, alongside “The Breakfast Club” co-hosts Angela Yee and DJ Envy. In addition to “The Breakfast Club,” Charlamagne also co-hosts the “Brilliant Idiots” podcast and runs his own YouTube channel, CThaGod. He also is the author of “Black Privilege” and “Shook One.” Charlamagne’s production company, CTHAGOD World Productions, aims to discover and advocate for emerging talent.
The outspoken radio host, who’s called himself “the prime minister of pissing people off,” is no stranger to controversy. In July, Charlamagne said about ViacomCBS’s cutting ties with Nick Cannon over anti-Semitic comments, “If there’s one thing Jewish people have showed us, it’s they have the power”; that drew a rebuke from the head of the Anti-Defamation League. Cannon, who has apologized for his remarks, returned to hosting his syndicated radio show this week.
Separately, this summer iHeartmedia launched the BIN: Black Information Network, which it calls the first and only 24-hour service dedicated to news coverage from a Black perspective, in multiple radio markets.