Crooked Media, the podcast company formed by a trio of former Obama staffers, continues to spread its wings beyond its progressive-politics roots.
The company’s new development slate spans entertainment, pop culture, history — and a show about whether the internet is rotting people’s minds.
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Coming this fall is weekly interview show “Offline With Jon Favreau,” hosted by the Crooked Media co-founder, as a spinoff of Crooked’s popular flagship series “Pod Save America.” In the new podcast, Favreau will engage in conversations with “some of the brightest minds and biggest newsmakers” about whether the internet is slowly damaging our brains and changing the way we think, and what we can do about it.
“Offline” will “provide more of what audiences love about ‘Pod Save America,’ including the fun, no-bullshit approach,” Crooked Media says. The show will premiere in the “Pod Save America” podcast feed and on Crooked’s YouTube channel.
Other Crooked podcasts premiering soon:
“X-Ray Vision,” a weekly dive into the internet’s biggest fandoms and entertainment franchises, ranging from “The Lord of the Rings'” Middle-earth to Waystar Royco of HBO’s “Succession.” The show is helmed by Crooked executive producer Jason Concepcion (“Binge Mode,” “Takeline”).
“Untitled History of Policing Project,” hosted by Peabody Award winner Chenjerai Kumanyika that will provide a narrative history of the police in American popular culture.
“544 Days,” an autobiographical exploration of journalist Jason Rezaian’s political imprisonment in Iran, produced in partnership with Spotify’s Gimlet and A24. The nine-episode limited series will be available exclusively on Spotify starting in September.
“Unholier Than Thou,” a fan-favorite that explores the intersection of the saintly and secular, hosted by journalist and editor Phillip Picardi, will come back for Season 2 in September. Over 10 episodes, Picardi will continue his introspective examination of the role of religion and spirituality in our daily lives — with a focus on post-pandemic “resurrection.”
Crooked also is adding “Crooked History” to its lineup of YouTube-exclusive content, marking its first nonfiction narrative video series. The show features Crooked network personalities Ben Rhodes (“Missing America,” “Pod Save the World”), Erin Ryan (“Hysteria”) and Kaya Henderson (“Pod Save the People”), covering “important lessons your history teacher may have skipped.”
The company has worked to “diversify our platforms and content in order to expand the brand while staying true to our core mission of providing sharp, entertaining social commentary,” said Sarah Geismer, Crooked Media’s head of creative development and production.
Along with the new slate, Crooked Media announced its primary 2021 political campaign from Vote Save America, the company’s political action and voter engagement arm. The “No Off Years” campaign aims to re-engage voters with remote volunteer opportunities, targeted donations and education on what’s at stake next year and beyond.
Crooked Media was founded in 2017 by Favreau and Lovett, both former Obama speechwriters, and former Obama aide Tommy Vietor. In the last year, Crooked has grown its full-time staff 25%, to 70 employees. The company says its content team, encompassing production, development and digital, expanding 43%.
The company’s recent business deals have included a pact with Team Whistle to distribute sports content on Snapchat; syndicating Jon Lovett’s “Lovett or Leave It” podcast via Audacy; and expanding into international sales for the first time through a partnership with Acast.
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