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The Podcast Academy: what and why?

· By · 4 minutes to read

My appointment to be Chairperson of The Podcast Academy was not something that I asked for or even lobbied for.

Before being invited to attend a Governors board meeting back in March, I was outspoken about my concerns about the goals of The Podcast Academy after its announcement in February 2020 at Podcast Movement Evolutions in Los Angeles.

My concerns centered on the board and organization not understanding the independent podcasting side and history of the medium. The fact is that prior Podcast Awards and a Hall of Fame existed already and previous podcast associations have been tried and failed in the past.

I believe that historical understandings and sensitivities to existing and past efforts are essential for an industry body to have at its founding: to keep in context and to overcome the obstacles to success from the past.

The board of governors has learned from this: and is working hard to build a diverse, cohesive, and unified membership community that recognizes all podcasters’ levels and the medium’s founding history.

The Podcast Academy is an opportunity and honor to help lead the beginning of unity and cooperation across the globe in essential areas. The areas of focus will be in rewarding excellence, diversity, best practices, and education to foster the sharing of ideas and tactics to grow the overall audience, content, and business of podcasting.

As Chairperson, I feel responsible for helping alleviate the above concerns and encourage an inclusive and diverse Academy.

What and Why?

Many have asked what this new organization can potentially do for me and or the podcasting industry? The truth is it is up to you to contribute ideas and help us determine the “What” and “Why” we need The Podcast Academy.

The initial founding Board of Governors needs the global podcast community to help create the participation foundation to create a vibrant membership community to generate impactful ideas that will move this fast-growing podcast industry forward.

Please join us in pulling this industry together and charting a growth path we all want. To build community connections, expertise, best practices, standards, and to reward and recognize outstanding achievement.

Membership criteria, and how to become a member

Do you currently participate in the podcast industry? Then you are eligible for membership! All participants in the Podcast industry, whether professional or student, are welcomed as members.

Membership in The Podcast Academy begins on June 22, 2020. You can join here.

The Membership Fees — Early Adopters Save $$. Sign up on or before September 30 and get 50% off your initial annual membership fee:

Regular Membership in The Podcast Academy is in two categories, called peer groups. When applying for membership, individuals select either the “In Front of the Mic” or “Behind the Mic” peer group. Each group has access to the same member benefits, but grouping members in this way allows The Podcast Academy to best tailor programs and communications to each group’s professional needs.

Students may apply for Student Membership in The Podcast Academy, and their membership is at a discount. Student Members may not vote in the awards or for the Board of Governors but otherwise have the same member benefits.

Every individual application is reviewed for eligibility before membership approval. Proof of work in the podcast industry will be satisfied with two references and work samples related to the member’s chosen peer group.

Who’s involved

The Podcast Academy has part-time staff with Executive Director, Michele Cobb, and Account Manager, JoAnna Laskas.

The 17 Founding Board of Governors are all smart and talented podcasting professionals capable of shaping the Academy into an organization that will represent, help, educate, and positively impact the whole industry.

Chairperson Rob Greenlee: VP, Content and Partnerships, Libsyn

Vice-Chairperson Donald Albright: President & Co-Founder, TenderfootTV

Secretary Kerri Hoffman: President and CEO, PRX

Treasurer Christy Mirabal: VP of Marketing, Sony Music Entertainment


Learn more

To learn more about The Podcast Academy, visit their website. Or, register for two Webinars on Thursday, June 18, 2020, with me and Executive Director Michele Cobb. Two sessions on the same day, we hope you can join us!

Rob Greenlee is VP of Content and Partnerships, Libsyn (LSYN), Chairperson of The Podcast Academy, and was inducted into the Podcasters Hall of Fame in 2017. He started on radio in 1999 and then podcasting in 2004 with the first nationally syndicated radio show "WebTalk World Radio Show" to begin podcasting. He also worked as Voxnest’s Head of Partnerships and Spreaker's Head of Content. Greenlee’s other prior positions have included as EVP/CTO at PodcastOne, Business / Content Manager of Podcasts at Microsoft Zune, and Xbox Live Marketplace. He currently co-hosts The New Media Show, an audio and video podcast that streams LIVE on the New Media Show website, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Twitch.

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