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Podcast Producers To Be Fetted at First-Ever Ambies Award Show

Original publish date: March 19, 2021

Podcasts, their producers and production teams will earn bragging rights when the first annual Awards for Excellence in Audio, aka the Ambies, roll out on a live stream Sunday, May 16.

According to the Podcast Academy, 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 Ambies will highlight 164 nominees across 23 podcasting categories – with winners to be selected by every voting member of the Academy – as well as a Governor’s Award. Eligible new members will be able to vote to determine this year’s winners if registered by March 26.

Diversity and Inclusivity a Focus for Podcast Academy

The Podcast Academy is a non-profit professional membership organization celebrating excellence in podcasting and elevates awareness of podcasts as a medium for entertainment, information and creative expression. Central to its mission is lifting voices and celebrating inclusion across the podcast production community.

“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 Academy chairman Donald Albright, also president and co-founder of
Tenderfoot TV and known in some circles as the Podcast Kingmaker of Atlanta.

On the nominees of the inaugural 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,” added Albright.

The podcasts earning the most Ambies nominations were Dirty Diana, The Left Right Game and Wind of Change with four nominations each.

Independent Podcast Productions Score Big

In keeping with the democratizing effect of podcasting itself as a medium, there’s no deference to bigger budgets or podcast production companies at the Ambies, no “studio system” to wade through for podcast producers looking to have their shows recognized. A number of audio shows from independent and nonprofit media companies 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).

Paying freelancers? Get help paying your podcast crew & talent.

The inaugural Ambies slate features activists, journalists and luminaries including NAACP Image Awards-winner Tessa Thompson; 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 podcast awards ceremony will be streamed live on YouTube, Twitch and other platforms on Sunday, May 16 at 5pm PT / 8pm ET from Los Angeles, with a pre-show starting at 4:30pm PT / 7:30pm ET.

Full list of Ambies nominees below.

The Ambies 2021: Complete List of Nominees for Podcasting Excellence

Podcast of The Year:

Blockbuster: The Story of James Cameron (Miniseries)
Bunga Bunga
Chasing Cosby
Dirty Diana
Dying for Sex
For Life: The Podcast
Forgotten: Women of Juarez
Say Their Name
The Happiness Lab
Best Business Podcast:
An Arm and a Leg
Brought to you by…
Go For Broke
Masters of Scale
The Heist
Women at Work

Best Comedy Podcast:

Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend
Culture Kings
Don’t Ask Tig
How Did This Get Made?
The Breakfast Club
Best Documentary Podcast:
California City
Conviction Season 2: American Panic
For Life: The Podcast
I’m Not A Monster
Louder Than a Riot
Painkiller: America’s Fentanyl Crisis
The Edge: Houston Astros
Best Entertainment Podcast:
Even the Rich
For Life: The Podcast
Office Ladies
Prime Video Presents
The First One
The Plot Thickens

Best Fiction Podcast:

Asking For It
Blood Ties – Season 2
Dirty Diana
Frozen Frights: Aurora Borealis “Vacant”
The Left Right Game
Two Princes
Best History Podcast:
American History Tellers
American Scandal
Driving the Green Book
Slow Burn
Unfinished: Deep South
Very Presidential with Ashley Flowers
Best Interview Podcast:
A Winning Mindset: Lessons From The Paralympics
Asian Enough
Back from Broken
Death, Sex & Money
More With Anna Maria Tremonti
The FRONTLINE Dispatch
Trafficked with Mariana van Zeller

Best Knowledge, Science or Tech Podcast:

American Innovations
Brave New Planet
How to Save a Planet
In Machines We Trust
Short Wave
Tai Asks Why
Unlocking Bryson’s Brain
Best News Podcast:
Do No Harm
Post Reports
Suspicious Activity: Inside the FinCEN Files
The Journal
Today, Explained
VICE News Reports
What Next

Best Original Score and Music Supervision:

Bunga Bunga – Scott Velasquez, Jeff Schmidt
Dead and Gone – Makeup And Vanity Set
Jacked: Rise of New Jack Sound – Marcelino Villalpando
Revisionist History – Luis Guerra
Throughline – Ramtin Arablouei, Drop Electric, Hania Rani
Treasure Island 2020 – Chris Tarry, Jennifer Rowekamp
Two Princes – Score: Greg Laswell; Theme and additional scoring by Bobby Lord; Music
Supervision: Jonathon Roberts

Best Performer in Audio Fiction:

DUST, Season 3: CHRYSALIS – Corey Hawkins
Hank the Cowdog – Matthew McConaughey
Light House – Aly Trasher
National Geographic Kids Greeking Out – Kenny Curtis, Tori Kerr
The Left Right Game – Tessa Thompson
Two Princes – Noah Galvin, Ari’el Stachel, Samira Wiley, Gideon Glick, Wesley Taylor, Alfredo
Narciso, Mandi Masden, CJ Wilson, Michelle Gomez
We Are Not Alone – Willem Dafoe, Charlotte Gainsbourg

Best Personal Growth / Spirituality Podcast:

Borne the Battle
Dare to Lead with Brené Brown
Dear Therapists
Hey Spirit!
Meditative Story
On Being with Krista Tippett
Stay Calm with Bob Roth

Best Podcast Host:

Amicus Presents: The Class of RBG – Dahlia Lithwick
Back Issue – Josh Gwynn, Tracy Clayton
Bunga Bunga – Whitney Cummings
MOBITUARIES: Anna May Wong (Death of a Trailblazer) – Mo Rocca
Revisionist History – Malcolm Gladwell
Science Vs – Wendy Zukerman
Wind of Change – Patrick Radden Keefe

Best Politics or Opinion Podcast:

Burn the Boats
Gaining Ground: The New Georgia
Our Nation of Immigrants
Politically Re-Active
The Dan Bongino Show
The NPR Politics Podcast
Winning Wisconsin

Best Production and Sound Design:

Canary: The Washington Post Investigates – Bishop Sand
Conviction: American Panic – Matthew Boll
Dirty Diana – Millie Iatrou, Ryan Walsh, Katie Halliday, Justin Davey, Matt Yocum & Ben Michev,
Neely Oeftering
The Left Right Game – Ryan Walsh, Matt Yocum, Will Files, Ryan Sullivan
Unfinished: Short Creek – John DeLore
Where is George Gibney? – Mark Horgan, Ciaran Cassidy
Wind of Change – Henry Molofsky

Best Reporting:

Fiasco: Iran-Contra – Leon Neyfakh
I’m Not A Monster – Josh Baker
Planet Money – Sarah Gonzalez, Kenny Malone, Jacob Goldstein, Robert Smith, Amanda
Aronczyk, Karen Duffin, Mary Childs
Reveal – Shoshana Walter, Laura Starecheski, Ike Srikandarajah
The Take – Malika Bilal, Stefanie Dekker, Safwat al-Kahlout
Unfinished: Short Creek – Sarah Ventre, Ash Sanders
Wind of Change – Patrick Radden Keefe

Best Scriptwriting, Fiction:

Appearances – Sharon Mashihi
DEM TIMES – Rhys Reed-Johnson, Jacob Roberts-Mensah
Dirty Diana – Shana Feste, Jen Besser
Looking For Latoya – Amy Aniobi, Chris Sanford, Kindsey Young
Make It Up As We Go – David Hudgins, Brooks Hudgins
National Geographic Kids Greeking Out – Kenny Curtis, Jillian Hughes, Emily Everhart
The Left Right Game – Jack Anderson

Best Scriptwriting, Nonfiction:

And Nothing Less – Robin Linn
Heavyweight – Jonathan Goldstein, Kalila Holt, Stevie Lane
Masters of Scale – WaitWhat Team, Adam Skuse, Katie Clark Gray
Resistance – Saidu Tejan-Thomas Jr.
Suspicious Activity: Inside the FinCEN Files – Jonathan Menjivar, Jenelle Pifer, Joel Lovell
Whistleblower – Tim Livingston
Wind of Change – Patrick Radden Keefe

Best Society and Culture Podcast:

Code Switch
Ear Hustle
Into America
Latino USA
You and Me Both with Hillary Clinton

Best Sports Podcast:

17 Weeks
Sports Uncovered
The Cam Chronicles
The Edge: Houston Astros
The Lead

Best True Crime Podcast:

Chasing Cosby
Dr. Death Season 2: Dr. Fata
I’m Not A Monster
Supernatural with Ashley Flowers
The Messenger

Best Wellness or Relationships Podcast:

Adult ISH
Dying for Sex
Last Day Season 2
The Happiness Lab
Therapy for Black Girls
We Got You
Where Should We Begin?

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