iHeartRadio launches NextUp mentoring program to elevate new creators


iHeartRadio is announcing a mentoring and incubation program called NextUp, to cultivate and fund what the program’s leader, Anna Hossnieh, calls “underrepresented diverse creators.” Hossnieh is an iHeart executive producer and host of the Ethnically Ambiguous podcast. She authored the announcement on iHeart’s blog.

Anna Hossnieh

The idea has been stirring in Hossnieh’s mind since 2019 when, at a podcast conference, she met creators with great ideas and stories who were struggling for recognition asnd audience in podcasting’s vast sea of content. She says, “I looked around and thought, ‘I work for a large media company, I can help here!'”

Co-leading the effort will be Joelle Smith, another iHeart exec producer. Together they will select and mentor two podcast projects in each of iHeartMedia’s major hubs: New York, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. The program will transpire over five months, and include a stipend — exact financials are not revealed at this time. The mentoring curriculum aims to instill business skills that include development, production, and marketing,

The program is open to applicants — go HERE to apply.


Brad Hill