Veteran producer Will Packer is cranking up the volume on his company’s push into podcasting.
Will Packer Media signed a deal with iHeartMedia to produce a slate of original scripted and unscripted podcasts for the iHeartPodcast Network. The first project under the partnership is an urban scripted drama series set in present-day Oakland, Calif., slated to launch in the second quarter of 2021; more details are to be released in the coming weeks.
The pact comes after iHeartMedia’s October 2020 debut of true-crime podcast “Fight Night,” co-produced by Packer and James Lopez, president of Will Packer Productions. “Fight Night” examines one of Atlanta’s most infamous armed robberies — from the night of Muhammad Ali’s historic return to boxing in 1970.
The podcasts from Will Packer Media and iHeartMedia will be distributed by the iHeartPodcast Network, home to more than 750 original podcasts.
“We are excited to partner with iHeartMedia to provide innovative and entertaining content to the fast-growing podcast space,” Alix Baudin, president of Will Packer Media, said in a statement. “Bringing captivating audio stories to diverse audiences allows us to expand our focus across different media platforms.”
Will Packer Media has produced and/or developed scripted programming for networks and streaming platforms including OWN, ABC, Amazon Studios, CBS, FX, Nickelodeon, NBC, BET, Lifetime and Fox. In partnership with Discovery and Universal Pictures, the company produces episodic scripted and unscripted series, branded content and short-form digital video. Packer’s films have earned more than $1 billion at the box office.
Conal Byrne, president of the iHeartPodcast Network, praised Will Packer as “one of the most groundbreaking storytellers working today.”
“He and his team are exactly the kind of innovative partners we love to support long-term in the podcast medium,” Byrne commented.
The iHeartMedia Digital Audio Group comprises the company’s podcasting business, the iHeartRadio streaming audio service (available across more than 250 platforms), websites, newsletters, social media footprint and advertising technology companies.