Emerging podcast production studio and network, Audio Up solidifies executive team
PRESS RELEASE —
Los Angeles CA, USA—Newly launched podcast production studio, platform, and network, Audio Up has announced several key hires, including legendary actor and musician Dennis Quaid as co-founder and chief artist-in-residence. After taking a significant investment from MGM studios and powerhouse independent publishing and talent management company Primary Wave, Audio Up is expanding its slate to include 9-scripted musicals (currently in production) and 17-unscripted podcasts including a blend of originals and format purchases from some of the top players across the media space. In addition, they’ve solidified their executive team to include a roster of high level creative producers to lead their efforts.
Company co-founder, Dennis Quaid will further break down the wall between podcasters and the larger entertainment industry by bringing his wealth of collaborators and talent to Audio Up. Dennis is staring and executive producing an entire slate of his own interest driven ideas and will be utilized across all industries – film, television and music. “The share of ear between people spending their time on Spotify, Apple, and countless other platforms, is now a full arm’s race. Whoever has the best content and the best talent, wins. We’re aiming to be the first in that race,” says podcaster, Dennis Quaid.
David Hurwitz, an NBC veteran who has worked on hit shows such as Ellen’s “Game of Games,” ABC’s “Don’t!,” and “Fear Factor,” joins as the head of content and serves as an executive producer across many of the studio’s initial offerings. “David was in the room for the creation of some of unscripted television’s most seminal programming and was instrumental in guiding them from idea to inception. I cannot think of anyone better to lead programming for Audio Up,” says Audio Up’s founder and CEO Jared Gutstadt.
Krista Liney, former History Channel SVP, will lead the company’s music-based programming across both scripted and non-scripted shows. Liney, an instrumental voice in the growth of Gutstadt’s career, was chiefly responsible for the development of iHeartPodcast Networks critically acclaimed 2019 scripted podcast, Bear and a Banjo – which was created by Gutstadt and starred Dennis Quaid and Grammy Award winning producer, Jason “Poo Bear” Boyd. “Krista recognized the potential for Bear and a Banjo before we even knew what we had. The rest was, no pun intended, history,” says Gutstadt. Liney joins the podcast world at a crucial moment for the industry. As production remains shuttered across television, Liney states, “the podcast business is one of the few COVID proof areas of the entertainment space. Additionally, the landscape is wide open for new and truly innovative content. It’s like having a giant blank canvas! I was drawn to the combination of great storytelling opportunities, creative autonomy, an impressive talent pool, and of course, Jared’s inexhaustible, proven business acumen.”
Jimmy Jellinek joins Audio Up as President of Story, where he’ll be leading efforts in scripted adaptations of nonfiction works. He previously served as Chief Creative Officer of FaZe Clan, and before that he was the Chief Content Officer and Editorial Director of Playboy Enterprises. He has over 20 years’ experience as a journalist, with work appearing in New York Times Magazine, Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair, VICE, The Guardian, and Rolling Stone. As a creator, he wrote and executive produced “Deadbeat Dad” for Showtime. Also, his work on the Bear and a Banjo podcast was nominated for a 2020 Webby Award for best podcast writing.
Philip Alberstat is joining the company as Chief Operating Officer where he will lead its day-to-day operations, and will oversee all business affairs, strategic partnerships, as well as, the data and insights team. Alberstat was previously an entertainment lawyer, WME agent, and most recently the co-founder and COO of Contend, a data driven branded content agency. "I am excited to be partner with Jared in this groundbreaking new audio content venture,” says Alberstat. “Podcasting has fundamentally altered the landscape for audio content. Audio Up is well-positioned with its strong creative team, as well as, data and insight technology, to become the industry leading platform.”
Sam Winter is an LA-based filmmaker and producer, with a history directing music and sports documentaries, as well as, creating new formats for digital media. Prior to joining Audio Up, he created a docuseries for VICE Media, and has produced work for Netflix, Conde Nast Entertainment, ESPN, and the Olympic channel. Most recently, Sam executive produced and directed the 2020 Forbes Media docuseries Indie Nation that was about up-and-coming African filmmaking entrepreneurs. His award winning short documentary Hip Hop in Ojibwe Country premiered at the 2020 Minneapolis Saint Paul International
About Audio Up
Audio Up is a podcast content production studio, platform, and network, housing a world of infinite, audio based properties. Led by founder and CEO Jared Gutstadt (the co-founder and CEO of Jingle Punks, which was acquired first by WME /Silverlake in 2012, and then the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Fund / Anthem - making it one of the most profitable and disruptive publishing company in the media space), Audio Up is building an ecosystem of premium entertainment content within the music and audio space. From fictional scripted podcasts, which include a Marvel-like universe of musicals, where the records themselves become the story foundation, to Dennis Quaid’s unfiltered interview series, The Dennissance, Audio Up’s goal is to create a new and innovative form of IP. They are bringing audio blockbusters to life and taking this media from black and white, into technicolor. Their upcoming slate of projects include Uncle Drank: The Totally Hammered Podcast, Make It Up As We Go with Scarlett Burke and huge celebrity country entertainment names, Ego System, S’ad Land and Hero The Band.
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