Jessica Cordova Kramer and Stephanie Wittels Wachs launch new podcast network Lemonada Media
PRESS RELEASE — July 1, 2019
Award-winning podcaster, Jessica Cordova Kramer and best-selling author, Stephanie Wittels Wachs have joined forces to form a new podcast network, Lemonada Media. The network, launching in September, will share an unfiltered version of the human experience, offering content that is raw and real, sorting through the ugliness, weirdness, awkwardness and darkness life can bring. They are entering the podcast ether with three original series: “Last Day,” “As Me with Sinéad,” and “Good Kids: How Not to Raise an A**Hole.” Lemonada will partner with Westwood One to distribute, sell, and market the shows to build audiences across the Lemonada network.
Cordova Kramer met Wittels Wachs in 2017, shortly after both women had lost their brothers to opioid overdoses. Hearing Wittels Wachs talking about her brother on the “Terrible Thanks for Asking” podcast, Cordova Kramer felt understood and less alone in her grief; she even laughed. The women connected over their shared experiences and the idea to bring Lemonada to life was born: Turn lemons into lemonade, one podcast at a time.
Notable guests across all three shows include actress Jamie Lee Curtis, comedians Sarah Silverman, Tig Notaro, and Aziz Ansari, author Reza Aslan, actress Mara Wilson, activist DeRay McKesson, songwriter Justin Tranter and filmmaker Kulap Vilaysack. Lemonada recently signed an exclusive podcasting deal with activist Sinéad Burke to host the network’s second show this fall, “As Me with Sinéad.”
“Our goal is to make shows that help people get out of bed in the morning, that help people deal with the hardest shit in their lives,” says Cordova Kramer.
“Community is a life jacket. Over half of Americans say they feel alone. It doesn’t have to be that way,” echoes Wittels Wachs.
“Our partnership with Lemonada, which is women-founded and women-run, diversifies the Westwood One Podcast Network as Jessica and Stephanie break new ground,” says Suzanne Grimes, EVP, Marketing for CUMULUS MEDIA and President, Westwood One. “Their candid approach to tackling the intricate issues of our daily lives will resonate with the millions of Americans looking for light in the shadows.”
“It was important to help Lemonada find a partner that is equally enthusiastic about identifying and supporting content which highlights the reality of the modern human experience,” said Oren Rosenbaum, Head of Emerging Platforms at UTA and Cordova Kramer and Wittels Wachs’ agent.
Lemonada’s first-person narratives will reverberate through an engaged and passionate community, offering audiences a chance to live and reflect on their #reallife, rather than chasing their #bestlife. The goal of the network is to produce content and build communities that reflect the complexity of modern life by blending a variety of tough topics and shared experiences with humor and compassion with a diverse array of influential guests and hosts.
The upcoming Lemonada series include:
Last Day (Launching on September 25)
Let’s talk about what’s killing us, the stuff that’s hard to comprehend and getting worse every day. Lemonada co-founder and author Stephanie Wittels Wachs confronts massive epidemics with humanity, wit, and a quest for progress. Starting with the opioid crisis, we zoom-in on a person’s last day of life, exploring how they got there and how we, as a society, have gotten here.
As Me with Sinéad (Launching on October 24)
What’s the first step towards becoming more empathetic? Listening. Academic, TED alum, and advocate Sinéad Burke leads candid conversations with diverse, notable guests who explain what it’s like to be them. They challenge us to confront our biases, deepen our humanity, and feel empowered to impact and change the world around us.
Good Kids: How Not to Raise an A**hole (Launching on November 26)
How do we raise good kids? How do we make sure they don’t turn into sh*tty adults? For 15 minutes each week, a diverse set of parents, teachers, policy makers, and world shapers grab the mic and offer relevant advice, rants, and reflections. Think of this as a quasi-manual for how to raise better humans.
Jessica Cordova Kramer is a Minneapolis-based executive producer of the Pod Save the People podcast with Crooked Media. The show has won multiple Webby awards and is currently on its third season. Cordova Kramer began her professional career as a Wall Street lawyer who moonlighted on pro bono domestic violence and refugee cases. After Wall Street, she worked for Teach For America and Teach For All for over a decade. More recently, she has been the Board Chair for Green Card Voices, an immigrant storytelling organization.
Stephanie Wittels Wachs is the author of best-selling book, Everything is Horrible and Wonderful: A Tragicomic Memoir of Genius, Heroin, Love and Loss, described by Booklist as a “harrowing, heartbreaking, cathartic memoir” and called a “powerful debut” by Kirkus. A theater director and well-known voice actor (appearing in countless anime series and movies), she also has a decade of experience as an arts educator. Wittels Wachs now sits on the Board of Directors of Rec Room Arts, a performance space and national artist-residency program in Houston, Texas. that she co-founded in memory of her late brother, Parks & Recreation comedian-writer-producer Harris Wittels.
Westwood One Podcast Network is the fastest organically growing podcast network in America, engaging listeners with original content in political talk, sports, and entertainment powered by a massive, multi-platform engine. Westwood One Podcast Network’s content and advertising partners tap into the passion, energy, and creativity of a start-up within an audio powerhouse, capitalizing on our enormous promotional reach, established national sales team, and preferred relationships with major podcast buyers, as well as high-quality production capabilities across the country.
Cordova Kramer and Wittels Wachs are represented by UTA. Oren Rosenbaum helped Lemonada Media form a partnership with Westwood One.
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