iHeartMedia Celebrates Second Annual iHeartRadio Podcast Awards

Will Ferrell Kicks off the Event with Hilarious Monologue about Podcasting Pre-internet

“The Dropout” Rallies Fans and Takes Home Highly Coveted Podcast of the Year Award

Conan O’Brien “Claws His Way into Radio” Winning Best Comedy Podcast for “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend”

NEW YORK – January 18, 2020 – The second annual iHeartRadio Podcast Awards brought the biggest names in podcasting together at the iHeartRadio Theater in Los Angeles last night, Friday, January 17. The live awards event honored the very best in podcasting spanning 30 categories and was broadcast on iHeartMedia radio stations from across the country as well as live streamed online via LiveXLive. The evening celebrated the incredible talent and wide variety of leaders across the booming podcasting industry. 

The live event kicked off with a hilarious opening from renowned actor, comedian and producer, Will Ferrell. The comedian, who is behind iHeartRadio’s “The Ron Burgundy Podcast,” reminisced about his love for podcasting and his instrumental role in the creation of the internet and audio streaming. The eventful night featured appearances by award nominees, an array of celebrity presenters and other special guests including Conan O’Brien, Sebastian Maniscalco, Ashley Iaconetti and Jared Haibon, Becca Tilley, Brooke Burke, Brooks Laich, Dean Unglert, Eric Winter and Roselyn Sanchez, Gavin DeGraw, Kaitlyn Bristowe, Meghan King Edmonds, Nick Viall, Stassi Schroeder, Teddi Mellencamp and Yeardley Smith as well as podcast nominees, Aaron Mahnke, Holly Frey, Jake Brennan, Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant, plus many more. In addition, the event also featured iHeartRadio top on-air personalities, Tanya Rad, Ellen K, The Breakfast Club’s Charlamagne Tha God, Angela Yee and DJ Envy as well as Enrique Santos.

Event highlights include:

  • Will Ferrell kicked-off the 2020 iHeartRadio Podcast Awards with a sidesplitting opening - claiming that he created Apple in his garage and reinforcing just how much he loves Burbank, California.
  • Stand-up comedian and actor, Sebastian Maniscalco and actress and writer Yeardley Smith, best known for her long-running role as Lisa Simpson on the animated television series “The Simpsons,” presented the Best Comedy Podcast award.
  • Conan O’ Brien won Best Comedy Podcast for “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend” and had the audience roaring with laughter from his acceptance speech, letting the audience know how happy he is to have finally clawed his way to the top of the radio format.
  • Gavin DeGraw, co-host of iHeartRadio’s “How Men Think” podcast, performed a live medley of his hits for the audience, which was streamed on LiveXLive.com.
  • “The Dropout” scored the big win of the night with Podcast of the Year, a socially voted category.
  • “The Breakfast Club” took home Best Pop Culture Podcast for the second year in a row.
  • The iHeartRadio Podcast Awards honored the New York Times' “1619” podcast with the Icon Social Impact Award, NPR's “Life Kit” with the Icon Innovator Award and Tenderfoot TV's Payne Lindsey and Donald Albright with the Icon Audible Audio Pioneer Award.

Full list of category winners below:

Podcast of the Year:

  • “The Dropout” (ABC News)

Icon Award - Innovator Award, Presented by Zoom:

  • “Life Kit” (NPR)

Icon Award - Audible Audio Pioneer Award:

  • Donald Albright & Payne Lindsey (Tenderfoot TV)

Icon Award - Social Impact Award:

  • “1619” (The New York Times)

Best Crime Podcast:

  • “Man in the Window” (L.A. Times/Wondery)

Best Pop Culture Podcast:

  • “The Breakfast Club” (iHeartRadio)

Best Music Podcast:

  • “Disgraceland” (iHeartRadio)

Best News Podcast:

  • “The Daily” (The New York Times)

Best Sports & Recreation Podcast:

  • “30 For 30” (ESPN) 

Best Comedy Podcast:

  • “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend” (Team Coco & Earwolf)

Best Political Podcast:

  • “Pod Save the People” (Crooked Media)

Best Branded Podcast:

  • “Songland” (NBC)

Best Kids & Family Podcast:

  • “Story Pirates” (Gimlet)

Best Food Podcast:

  • “The Dave Chang Show” (The Ringer & Majordomo Media)

Best Fiction Podcast:

  • “Blackout” (Endeavor Audio & QCODE)

Best Beauty & Fashion Podcast:

  • “Forever35” (Independent)

Best Overall Host - Female:

  • Nora McInerny (American Public Media)

Best Overall Host - Male:

  • Aaron Mahnke (Lore)

Best Business & Finance Podcast:

  • “How I Built This with Guy Raz” (NPR)

Best Green Podcast:

  • “Drilled” (Critical Frequency)

Best Travel Podcast:

  • “Overheard at National Geographic” (National Geographic)

Best Spirituality & Religion Podcast: 

  • “On Being with Krista Tippett” (On Being Studios)

Best Advice / Inspirational Podcast:

  • “Why Won’t You Date Me? With Nicole Byer” (HeadGum)

Best TV & Film Podcast:

  • “How Did This Get Made?” (Earwolf)

Best Spanish-Language Podcast:

  • “Radio Ambulante” (NPR)

Best Ad Read Podcast:

  • “Conan O’ Brien Needs A Friend” (Team Coco & Earwolf)

Best Science Podcast:

  • “Hidden Brain” (NPR)

Best Technology Podcast:

  • “Reply All” (Gimlet)

Best Wellness & Fitness Podcast:

  • “Where Should We Begin? with Esther Perel” (Esther Perel Global Media/Gimlet)

Best History Podcast:

  • “Revisionist History” (Pushkin Industries)

The 2020 iHeartRadio Podcast Awards is part of iHeartMedia’s roster of incredibly successful, nationally recognized events, including the iHeartRadio Music Festival, iHeartRadio Music Awards, the nationwide iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Concert Tour Presented by Capital One®, iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina, iHeartCountry Festival, iHeartRadio ALTer Ego and iHeartRadio Wango Tango.

Executive producers for the iHeartRadio Podcast Awards are John Sykes, Tom Poleman and Conal Byrne for iHeartMedia and Augie Max Vargas.

About iHeartMedia

iHeartMedia (NASDAQ: IHRT) is the number one audio company in the United States, reaching nine out of 10 Americans every month – and with its quarter of a billion monthly listeners, has a greater reach than any other media company in the U.S. The company’s leadership position in audio extends across multiple platforms, including more than 850 live broadcast stations in over 150 markets; digital radio via its iHeartRadio digital service available across more than 250 platforms and 2,000 devices; through its on-air influencers; social; branded iconic live music events; and podcasts as the #1 commercial podcast publisher. iHeartMedia also leads the audio industry in analytics, targeting and attribution for its marketing partners with its SmartAudio product, using data from its massive consumer base. Visit iHeartMedia.com for more company information.