Charlamagne tha God is expanding his reach with a newly announced deal with iHeartMedia to launch the Black Effect Podcast Network. In an interview with CNN, the long-time radio veteran mused about creating a Black-curated network of podcasts for Black audiences, which is exactly what he did.
With Charlamagne’s massively popular radio show “The Breakfast Club” as its flagship show, the network, which is slated to release later this fall, will also be home to original content from activist Tamika Mallory, comedian Jess Hilarious, and attorney/TV host Eboni K. Williams.
Known for his outspoken and passionate views, Charlamagne was adamant on stressing the importance of the contribution of Black women to the network: “I truly believe [Black women will] take us to the promised land”. In the same interview, he opined that what makes the Black Effect Podcast Network so necessary is that it is “intentional about empowering the voices that need to be heard…[with] hopeful, raw, unapologetic, diverse Black content”.
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Comparing the effect and influence that he hopes the network will have to that of BET in the 90s, Charlamagne is well suited to recreate this success with iHeartMedia CEO/chairman Bob Pittman, who was responsible for launching and leading MTV in its early glory days.
The pair have stressed that while the network is intended with Black audiences in mind, the content offers an opportunity to “provide a bridge of understanding” with the white audiences that comprise 20-25% of the demographic of iHeartMedia’s hip hop stations. “Blackness is the culture, but Black voices are not monolithic”, Charlamagne said in a statement. “The only way to appreciate the diversity of thought and experiences in Black culture is to build a platform for those voices to be heard.”