The Podcast Academy selected “WTF With Marc Maron” as the winner of the inaugural Governors Award, which recognizes a podcast or individual for the “compelling impact they’ve had on the industry.” Maron and “WTF” co-creator Brendan McDonald will accept the award at the 2021 Ambies ceremony, scheduled for May 16 in L.A.
The Ambies — an effort to create the podcast industry’s version of the Oscars or Emmys — will be streamed live on YouTube, Twitch and other platforms starting at 5 p.m. PT (following a preshow starting at 4:30 p.m. PT). The organization announced a total of 164 Ambies nominees last month.
The independently produced “WTF With Marc Maron” premiered in September 2009 and since then has garnered more than 600 million downloads over more than 1,200 episodes. The show’s landmark 2015 episode with President Barack Obama broke podcast records when it was released.
“‘WTF With Marc Maron’ has been a trailblazer for the medium since its inception and represents what’s unique about the industry,” Donald Albright, Podcast Academy chairman and president/co-founder of podcast studio Tenderfoot TV, said in a prepared statement. “As co-creators, producers and owners of ‘WTF,’ Marc and Brendan have served as global pioneers for podcasters big and small, both in front of and behind the mic. The Podcast Academy is humbled to honor WTF with the first-ever Governors Award.”
Maron and McDonald said in a joint statement, “It’s a genuine honor to be recognized by our peers as a major influence on the podcast medium. The show has evolved into what it is now through our persistence, creativity, discipline and curiosity. We’re grateful for this recognition and the freedom that podcasting affords us.”
Over more than three decades, Maron has been writing and performing comedy. On “WTF,” he’s interviewed people from all walks of life, including comedians, actors, directors, writers, authors and musicians. Guests over the years have included Robin Williams, Keith Richards, Stacey Abrams, Mel Brooks, Anna Kendrick, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lawrence, John Legend, David Letterman, Sir Paul McCartney, Eddie Murphy, Amy Poehler, Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, Sarah Silverman, Bruce Springsteen, Dick Van Dyke and Kate Winslet.
Maron starred in Netflix series “Glow” and his scripted series “Maron” aired for four seasons on IFC. His stand-up specials “Thinky Pain,” “Marc Maron: Too Real” and 2020’s “End Times Fun” are currently streaming on Netflix. He also has had recent roles in “Joker,” “Spenser Confidential,” “Sword of Trust” and “Stardust” and stars in the forthcoming Aretha Franklin biopic “Respect” alongside Jennifer Hudson. He also recently wrapped filming on the feature “To Leslie,” starring Andrea Riseborough and Allison Janney.
McDonald, executive producer and editor of “WTF With Marc Maron,” began working with Maron in 2004 in a partnership that included two radio shows and a daily streaming video broadcast. McDonald also produces podcasts for MSNBC and previously served as a senior producer for the news network.
Founded in February 2020, the Podcast Academy is a not-for-profit membership organization whose charter is to foster community, professional development and connections in the industry. The Ambies awards show is sponsored by Amazon Music, PRX, Tenderfoot TV and Wondery (recently acquired by Amazon); Adobe Systems is sponsoring the preshow.