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The Ambies - the nominees, 2021

PRESS RELEASE · Los Angeles CA, USA ·

The Podcast Academy, the preeminent professional podcast organization, has unveiled the nominees for its inaugural Awards for Excellence in Audio (The Ambies). The Ambies celebrate excellence in podcasting and elevate awareness and status of podcasts as a unique and personal medium for entertainment, information, storytelling and expression. The hour-long ceremony will be streamed LIVE on YouTube, Twitch and other platforms on Sunday, May 16, 2021 from Los Angeles, CA at 5PM PT/8PM ET, with a pre-show starting at 4:30PM PT/7:30PM ET.

The Ambies will highlight 164 nominees across 23 categories, selected by every voting member of The Podcast Academy, in addition to a Governor’s Award. Eligible new members will be able to vote to determine this year’s winners if registered by March 26.

“The Podcast Academy was founded a year ago with the mission to foster inclusivity, elevate awareness and build excitement for podcasts through initiatives, programming and our annual awards,” said Chairman of the Podcast Academy, Donald Albright, President & Co-Founder of Tenderfoot TV. “Today, we celebrate the community with the announcement of our first-ever Ambies nominees. They are just as diverse as the creators, both in front of and behind the mic, and are reflective of the far reaching medium. On behalf of the membership, we congratulate all of the nominees.”

Dirty Diana, The Left Right Game and Wind of Change earned four nominations each, the most for any program.

A variety of podcasts from independent and nonprofit media entities also earned nominations including Adult ISH (YR Media), Borne the Battle (US Department of Veterans Affairs), DEM TIMES (Our Day), DETOURS (WGBH/PRX), On Being with Krista Tippett (On Being Studios), among others.

This year’s slate of inaugural nominees feature activists, award-winners, bestselling authors, luminaries and renowned journalists including: Hillary Rodham Clinton; Oscar-winner Matthew McConaughey; NAACP Image Awards-winner Tessa Thompson; Order of Canada recipient Malcolm Gladwell; Back Issue’s multidisciplinary artist Josh Gwynn and Netflix’s Strong Black Legends Tracy Clayton; New York Times bestselling author Patrick Radden Keefe; Forgotten: Women of Juarez’s Peabody Award-winning journalist Oz Woloshyn and public radio journalist Mónica Ortiz Uribe; The Heist’s Pulitzer-winning reporter Mei Fong and award-winning radio journalist Sally Herships; as well as Pulitzer finalist Ear Hustle, co-hosted by Earlonne Woods, a former inmate at San Quentin, and Rahsaan “New York” Thomas, a current inmate.

The full list of nominees

Editor’s note: Podnews has added publisher detail from individual show listings. Just show titles were given by the Ambies; we’ve matched these up to listings ourselves: however, some titles are used by multiple podcasts.

Podcast of The Year

Blockbuster: The Story of James Cameron (Miniseries)
From: Epicleff Originals | Cadence13
Hosted by: Megaphone
Bunga Bunga
From: Wondery
Hosted by: ART19
Chasing Cosby
From: Los Angeles Times
Hosted by: ART19
DETOURS
From: WGBH Educational Foundation
Hosted by: PRX
Dirty Diana
From: QCODE
Hosted by: Simplecast
Dying for Sex
From: Wondery
Hosted by: ART19
For Life: The Podcast
From: Sony Pictures Television & ABC
Hosted by: Megaphone
Forgotten: Women of Juarez
From: iHeartRadio
Hosted by: Megaphone
Say Their Name
From: DCP Entertainment
Hosted by: Acast
The Happiness Lab
From: Pushkin Industries
Hosted by: Megaphone

Best Business Podcast

An Arm and a Leg
From: An Arm and a Leg
Hosted by: Acast
Brought to you by…
From: Business Insider
Hosted by: ART19
Go For Broke
From: Vox Media
Hosted by: Megaphone
Masters of Scale
From: WaitWhat
Hosted by: ART19
Teamistry
From: Atlassian
Hosted by: Simplecast
The Heist
From: Center for Public Integrity
Hosted by: Podbean
Women at Work
From: Harvard Business Review

Best Comedy Podcast

Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend
From: Team Coco & Earwolf
Hosted by: Omny Studio
Culture Kings
From: Jacquis Neal & Edgar Momplaisir, Earwolf
Hosted by: Omny Studio
Don’t Ask Tig
From: American Public Media
Hosted by: American Public Media
Groceries
From: A Spotify Exclusive
Hosted by: Spotify
How Did This Get Made?
From: Earwolf and Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael, Jason Mantzoukas
Hosted by: Omny Studio
The Breakfast Club
From: iHeartRadio
Hosted by: Megaphone
Threedom
From: Earwolf & Scott Aukerman, Lauren Lapkus, Paul F Tompkins
Hosted by: Omny Studio

Best Documentary Podcast

California City
From: LAist Studios
Hosted by: Omny Studio
Conviction Season 2: American Panic
From: Gimlet
Hosted by: Megaphone
For Life: The Podcast
From: Sony Pictures Television & ABC
Hosted by: Megaphone
I’m Not A Monster
From: BBC Radio
Hosted by: BBC
Louder Than a Riot
From: NPR
Hosted by: NPR
Painkiller: America’s Fentanyl Crisis
From: A Spotify Exclusive
Hosted by: Spotify
The Edge: Houston Astros
From: Cadence13 / Ben Reiter / Prologue Projects
Hosted by: Megaphone

Best Entertainment Podcast

Dissect
From: A Spotify Exclusive
Hosted by: Spotify
Even the Rich
From: Wondery
Hosted by: ART19
For Life: The Podcast
From: Sony Pictures Television & ABC
Hosted by: Megaphone
Office Ladies
From: Earwolf & Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey
Hosted by: Omny Studio
Prime Video Presents
From: Amazon Studios / At Will Media / Tim Kash
Hosted by: Simplecast
  • The First One (Amazon Music)
  • The Plot Thickens
    From: TCM
    Hosted by: Omny Studio

    Best Fiction Podcast

    Asking For It
    From: CBC Podcasts and Mermaid Palace
    Hosted by: Triton Digital
    Blood Ties - Season 2
    From: Wondery
    Hosted by: ART19
    DEM TIMES
    From: Our Day
    Hosted by: Captivate
    Dirty Diana
    From: QCODE
    Hosted by: Simplecast
    Frozen Frights: Aurora Borealis “Vacant”
    From: The Icebox Radio Theater
    Hosted by: Spreaker
    The Left Right Game
    From: QCODE
    Hosted by: Simplecast
    Two Princes
    From: Gimlet
    Hosted by: Megaphone

    Best History Podcast

    American History Tellers
    From: Wondery
    Hosted by: ART19
    American Scandal
    From: Wondery
    Hosted by: ART19
    DETOURS
    From: WGBH Educational Foundation
    Hosted by: PRX
    Driving the Green Book
    From: Macmillan
    Hosted by: Omny Studio
    Slow Burn
    From: Slate Podcasts
    Hosted by: Megaphone
    Unfinished: Deep South
    From: Witness Docs
    Hosted by: Omny Studio
    Very Presidential with Ashley Flowers
    From: Parcast Network
    Hosted by: Megaphone

    Best Interview Podcast

    A Winning Mindset: Lessons From The Paralympics
    From: A Winning Mindset: Lessons From The Paralympics
    Hosted by: Audioboom
    Asian Enough
    From: Los Angeles Times
    Hosted by: ART19
    Back from Broken
    From: Colorado Public Radio
    Hosted by: PRX
    Death, Sex & Money
    From: WNYC Studios
    Hosted by: WNYC
    More With Anna Maria Tremonti
    From: CBC Podcasts
    Hosted by: Triton Digital
    The FRONTLINE Dispatch
    From: FRONTLINE PBS, WGBH
    Hosted by: PRX
    Trafficked with Mariana van Zeller
    From: National Geographic
    Hosted by: Megaphone

    Best Knowledge, Science or Tech Podcast

    American Innovations
    From: Wondery
    Hosted by: ART19
    Brave New Planet
    From: Pushkin Industries
    Hosted by: Megaphone
    How to Save a Planet
    From: Gimlet
    Hosted by: Megaphone
    In Machines We Trust
    From: MIT Technology Review
    Hosted by: Megaphone
    Short Wave
    From: NPR
    Hosted by: NPR
    Tai Asks Why
    From: CBC Podcasts and TRAX from PRX
    Hosted by: PRX
    Unlocking Bryson’s Brain
    From: CBC Podcasts
    Hosted by: Triton Digital

    Best News Podcast

    Do No Harm
    From: Wondery | NBC News
    Hosted by: ART19
    Post Reports
    From: The Washington Post
    Hosted by: The Washington Post
    Suspicious Activity: Inside the FinCEN Files
    From: Pineapple Street Studios, BuzzFeed News
    Hosted by: Megaphone
    The Journal
    From: The Wall Street Journal & Gimlet
    Hosted by: Megaphone
    Today, Explained
    From: Vox
    Hosted by: Megaphone
    VICE News Reports
    From: iHeartRadio & VICE
    Hosted by: Megaphone
    What Next
    From: Slate Podcasts
    Hosted by: Megaphone

    Best Original Score and Music Supervision

    Bunga Bunga - Scott Velasquez, Jeff Schmidt
    From: Wondery
    Hosted by: ART19
    Dead and Gone - Makeup And Vanity Set
    From: Tenderfoot TV, Double Elvis & Cadence13
    Hosted by: Megaphone
    Jacked: Rise of New Jack Sound - Marcelino Villalpando
    From: Wondery | UMG
    Hosted by: ART19
    Revisionist History - Luis Guerra
    From: Pushkin Industries
    Hosted by: Megaphone
    Throughline - Ramtin Arablouei, Drop Electric, Hania Rani
    From: NPR
    Hosted by: NPR
    Treasure Island 2020 - Chris Tarry, Jennifer Rowekamp
    From: Gen-Z Media/BYU Radio
    Hosted by: PRX
    Two Princes - Score: Greg Laswell; Theme and additional scoring by Bobby Lord; Music Supervision: Jonathon Roberts
    From: Gimlet
    Hosted by: Megaphone

    Best Performer in Audio Fiction

    DUST, Season 3: CHRYSALIS - Corey Hawkins
    From: Gunpowder & Sky
    Hosted by: Acast
    Hank the Cowdog - Matthew McConaughey
    From: QCODE, HTC Productions
    Hosted by: Simplecast
    Light House - Aly Trasher
    From: iHeartRadio
    Hosted by: Megaphone
    National Geographic Kids Greeking Out - Kenny Curtis, Tori Kerr
    From: National Geographic Kids
    Hosted by: Megaphone
    The Left Right Game - Tessa Thompson
    From: QCODE
    Hosted by: Simplecast
    Two Princes - Noah Galvin, Ari’el Stachel, Samira Wiley, Gideon Glick, Wesley Taylor, Alfredo Narciso, Mandi Masden, CJ Wilson, Michelle Gomez
    From: Gimlet
    Hosted by: Megaphone
    We Are Not Alone - Willem Dafoe, Charlotte Gainsbourg
    From: We Are Not Alone

    Best Personal Growth / Spirituality Podcast

    Borne the Battle
    From: Department of Veterans Affairs
    Hosted by: Transistor
    Dare to Lead with Brené Brown
    From: A Spotify Exclusive
    Hosted by: Spotify
    Dear Therapists
    From: iHeartRadio
    Hosted by: Megaphone
    Hey Spirit!
    From: An Evening With Theresa
    Hosted by: Acast
    Meditative Story
    From: WaitWhat + Thrive Global
    Hosted by: ART19
    On Being with Krista Tippett
    From: On Being Studios
    Hosted by: Simplecast
    Stay Calm with Bob Roth
    From: iHeartRadio
    Hosted by: Megaphone

    Best Podcast Host

    Amicus Presents: The Class of RBG - Dahlia Lithwick
    From: Slate Podcasts
    Hosted by: Megaphone
    Back Issue - Josh Gwynn, Tracy Clayton
    From: Pineapple Street Studios
    Hosted by: Megaphone
    Bunga Bunga - Whitney Cummings
    From: Wondery
    Hosted by: ART19
    MOBITUARIES: Anna May Wong (Death of a Trailblazer) - Mo Rocca
    From: CBS News, Inc.
    Hosted by: ART19
    Revisionist History - Malcolm Gladwell
    From: Pushkin Industries
    Hosted by: Megaphone
    Science Vs - Wendy Zukerman
    From: Gimlet
    Hosted by: Megaphone
    Wind of Change - Patrick Radden Keefe
    From: Pineapple Street Studios / Crooked Media / Spotify
    Hosted by: Megaphone

    Best Politics or Opinion Podcast

    Burn the Boats
    From: Evergreen Podcasts
    Hosted by: Megaphone
    Gaining Ground: The New Georgia
    From: Tenderfoot TV & Crooked Media
    Hosted by: Megaphone
    Our Nation of Immigrants
    From: The Brookings Institution
    Hosted by: Libsyn
    Politically Re-Active
    From: Topic Studios
    Hosted by: Omny Studio
    The Dan Bongino Show
    From: Westwood One Podcast Network / Dan Bongino
    Hosted by: Megaphone
    The NPR Politics Podcast
    From: NPR
    Hosted by: NPR
    Winning Wisconsin
    From: Wonder Media Network
    Hosted by: Simplecast

    Best Production and Sound Design

    Canary: The Washington Post Investigates - Bishop Sand
    From: The Washington Post
    Hosted by: The Washington Post
    Conviction: American Panic - Matthew Boll
    From: Gimlet
    Hosted by: Megaphone
    Dirty Diana - Millie Iatrou, Ryan Walsh, Katie Halliday, Justin Davey, Matt Yocum & Ben Michev, Neely Oeftering
    From: QCODE
    Hosted by: Simplecast
    The Left Right Game - Ryan Walsh, Matt Yocum, Will Files, Ryan Sullivan
    From: QCODE
    Hosted by: Simplecast
    Unfinished: Short Creek - John DeLore
    From: Witness Docs
    Hosted by: Omny Studio
    Where is George Gibney? - Ger McDonnell
    From: BBC Radio
    Hosted by: BBC
    Wind of Change - Henry Molofsky
    From: Pineapple Street Studios / Crooked Media / Spotify
    Hosted by: Megaphone

    Best Reporting

    Fiasco: Iran-Contra - Leon Neyfakh
    From: Luminary, Cadence13, Prologue Projects
    Hosted by: Megaphone
    I’m Not A Monster - Josh Baker
    From: BBC Radio
    Hosted by: BBC
    Planet Money - Sarah Gonzalez, Kenny Malone, Jacob Goldstein, Robert Smith, Amanda Aroncyzk, Karen Duffin, Mary Childs
    From: NPR
    Hosted by: NPR
    Reveal - Shoshana Walter, Laura Starecheski, Ike Srikandarajah
    From: The Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX
    Hosted by: PRX
    The Take - Malika Bilal, Stefanie Dekker, Safwat al-Kahlout
    From: Al Jazeera Podcasts
    Hosted by: ART19
    Unfinished: Short Creek - Sarah Ventre, Ash Sanders
    From: Witness Docs
    Hosted by: Omny Studio
    Wind of Change - Patrick Radden Keefe
    From: Pineapple Street Studios / Crooked Media / Spotify
    Hosted by: Megaphone

    Best Scriptwriting, Fiction

    Appearances - Sharon Mashihi
    From: Mermaid Palace, Radiotopia & Sharon Mashihi
    Hosted by: PRX
    DEM TIMES - Rhys Reed-Johnson, Jacob Roberts-Mensah
    From: Our Day
    Hosted by: Captivate
    Dirty Diana - Shana Feste
    From: QCODE
    Hosted by: Simplecast
    Looking For LaToya - Amy Aniobi, Chris Sanford, Kindsey Young
    From: HBO | Tenderfoot | Raedio
    Hosted by: Megaphone
    Make It Up As We Go - David Hudgins, Brooks Hudgins
    From: iHeartRadio and Audio Up, Inc.
    Hosted by: Megaphone
    National Geographic Kids Greeking Out - Kenny Curtis, Jillian Hughes, Emily Everhart
    From: National Geographic Kids
    Hosted by: Megaphone
    The Left Right Game - Jack Anderson
    From: QCODE
    Hosted by: Simplecast

    Best Scriptwriting, Nonfiction

    And Nothing Less - Robin Linn
    From: PRX
    Hosted by: PRX
    Heavyweight - Jonathan Goldstein, Kalila Holt, Stevie Lane
    From: Gimlet
    Hosted by: Megaphone
    Masters of Scale - WaitWhat Team, Adam Skuse, Katie Clark Gray
    From: WaitWhat
    Hosted by: ART19
    Resistance - Saidu Tejan-Thomas Jr.
    From: Gimlet
    Hosted by: Megaphone
    Suspicious Activity: Inside the FinCEN Files - Jonathan Menjivar, Jenelle Pifer, Joel Lovell
    From: Pineapple Street Studios, BuzzFeed News
    Hosted by: Megaphone
    Whistleblower - Tim Livingston
    From: Tenderfoot TV & Cadence 13
    Hosted by: Megaphone
    Wind of Change - Patrick Radden Keefe
    From: Pineapple Street Studios / Crooked Media / Spotify
    Hosted by: Megaphone

    Best Society and Culture Podcast

    Code Switch
    From: NPR
    Hosted by: NPR
    Ear Hustle
    From: Ear Hustle & Radiotopia
    Hosted by: PRX
    Heavyweight
    From: Gimlet
    Hosted by: Megaphone
    Into America
    From: MSNBC, Trymaine Lee
    Hosted by: Simplecast
    Latino USA
    From: PRX
    Hosted by: PRX
    Resistance
    From: Gimlet
    Hosted by: Megaphone
    You and Me Both with Hillary Clinton
    From: iHeartRadio
    Hosted by: Megaphone

    Best Sports Podcast

    17 Weeks
    From: SiriusXM, UNINTERRUPTED
    Hosted by: Simplecast
    Drafted
    From: iHeartRadio & Treefort Media
    Hosted by: Megaphone
    Sports Uncovered
    From: NBC Sports
    Hosted by: ART19
    The Cam Chronicles
    From: The Ringer
    Hosted by: Megaphone
    The Edge: Houston Astros
    From: Cadence13 / Ben Reiter / Prologue Projects
    Hosted by: Megaphone
    The Lead
    From: Wondery | The Athletic
    Hosted by: ART19
    Whistleblower
    From: Tenderfoot TV & Cadence 13
    Hosted by: Megaphone

    Best True Crime Podcast

    Brainwashed/Uncover
    From: CBC Podcasts
    Hosted by: Triton Digital
    Chasing Cosby
    From: Los Angeles Times
    Hosted by: ART19
    Dr. Death Season 2: Dr. Fata
    From: Wondery
    Hosted by: ART19
    I’m Not A Monster
    From: BBC Radio
    Hosted by: BBC
    Somebody
    From: iHeartRadio
    Hosted by: Megaphone
    Supernatural with Ashley Flowers
    From: Parcast Network
    Hosted by: Megaphone
    The Messenger
    From: The Wheeler Centre

    Best Wellness or Relationships Podcast

    Adult ISH
    From: YR Media and Radiotopia
    Hosted by: PRX
    Dying for Sex
    From: Wondery
    Hosted by: ART19
    Last Day Season 2
    From: Lemonada Media
    Hosted by: Omny Studio
    The Happiness Lab
    From: Pushkin Industries
    Hosted by: Megaphone
    Therapy for Black Girls
    From: Joy Harden Bradford, Ph.D. & iHeartRadio
    Hosted by: Megaphone
    We Got You
    From: Sonic Union and TRAX from PRX
    Hosted by: PRX
    Where Should We Begin?
    From: Esther Perel Global Media & Gimlet
    Hosted by: Megaphone

    ABOUT THE PODCAST ACADEMYFounded in February 2020, The Podcast Academy is a non-profit professional membership organization that celebrates excellence in podcasting and elevates awareness of podcasts as an indispensable medium for entertainment, information, and creative expression. It values individual and organizational creators alike, of all backgrounds and means, and defines achievement through the values of quality, creativity, innovation, inclusion, and impact. The Podcast Academy provides community, professional development, and industry connections through inclusive, dynamic programming. For more information about The Podcast Academy, please visit www.thepodcastacademy.com and follow/like/subscribe on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Linkedin.

     

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