Gressman was formerly a partner and executive producer at Night Vale Presents, whose podcasts include “Welcome to Night Vale,” “Sleep With Me,” “Conversations With People Who Hate Me,” and “The Orbiting Human Circus.” At Night Vale, she oversaw network-wide show development, production and distribution.
Based in New York, Gressman — who first joined Topic Studios in January 2020 — reports to Maria Zuckerman, EVP of Topic Studios. In her new role, Gressman will lead Topic Studios’ podcast vertical, overseeing all aspects of series creative and production, as well as distribution strategy. She will help define the editorial vision, build the brand’s presence in the podcast marketplace, and drive the audio business as part of Topic Studios’ overall strategy across TV, film and documentaries, according to the company.
Gressman will also work with First Look’s The Intercept investigative journalism unit, sharing oversight of The Intercept branded podcasts and audio staff with Intercept editor-in-chief Betsy Reed.
Podcasts released by Topic Studios include true-crime show “Somebody”; “Missing Richard Simmons” and Peabody-nominated “Headlong: Running from COPS,” both with Dan Taberski; and musical “Anthem” from John Cameron Mitchell, featuring Glenn Close, Patti Lupone and Cynthia Erivo.
Projects in production at Topic include: “Not Lost,” a travel-adventure show created and hosted by Brendan Francis Newnam, the producer behind podcasts “The Dinner Party Download” and “The Paris Review”; “Hurry Up and Kill Her,” an investigation into the assassination of Malta journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia; and “Operator,” hosted by journalist and former sex worker Tina Horn, which traces the wild rise and dramatic fall of American TelNet, a telecommunications company that pioneered live phone sex.
“Our studio is uniquely positioned in that we are a creative home to develop podcasts; we can bring distribution partners on board before or after fully producing shows; and we bring our acumen and relationships in other media to bear for derivative formats,” Zuckerman said in a statement. “Christy is the perfect person to join our team leading the charge in podcasts. From her experience growing a business into a formidable force in the space, to her strong creative vision, curiosity, and diverse relationships, she will help us further expand the full-service experience we deliver to creators and partners.”
Gressman commented, “I’ve long thought of Topic Studios as the destination for smart, premium work made with integrity and a clear point of view, and I’m thrilled to join the team at such an exciting time, as the Studio is growing across the board. I look forward to building upon the excellent foundation already in place, and I can’t wait to share the podcasts I’ve already put into motion since coming on board as we expand our slate — along with many more to come.”
Topic Studios develops, finances and produces content for all platforms including theatrical film, streaming, television and podcasts. Pierre Omidyar, the billionaire founder of eBay, founded First Look Media in 2013. The company’s first feature film, “Spotlight,” won the 2016 Academy Award for best picture.