iHeartPodcasts, the No. 1 podcast publisher globally according to Podtrac, today announced a new distribution deal with Kaleidoscope, a podcast start-up – led by Oz Woloshyn, an Emmy-award-winning host and producer; and Mangesh Hattikudur, veteran podcast host and development expert – focusing on highly-produced narrative podcasts set in countries ranging from Brazil to Russia.
Kaleidoscope’s collaboration with iHeartPodcasts includes an initial slate of six podcasts that tell largely-unknown true stories from different corners of the globe. The slate’s first show “OBSESSIONS: Wild Chocolate” debuts today and follows award-winning food journalist Rowan Jacobson on a trip into the Amazon to find the world’s rarest cacao beans and meet the people quietly making the best chocolate on the planet.
“This partnership with Kaleidoscope offers iHeartPodcasts an opportunity to collaborate with some of the smartest, most creative producers in podcasting,” said Will Pearson, President of iHeartPodcasts. “We love their team’s focus on incredible stories from around the world and immediately gravitated to the slate Kaleidoscope put in front of us. We can’t wait for audiences to hear this line-up of brilliant shows.”
“We’re very excited that iHeart will use its industry-leading reach, relationships with top-tier content creators, and cutting-edge analytics to help amplify these important and compelling stories from across the globe,” said Oz Woloshyn, one of Kaleidoscope’s two co-founders. “The podcasting industry is growing quickly, but it’s still in its infancy. This partnership will create new genres of shows and reach listeners who may not yet be familiar with the rich, immersive storytelling experience that top-tier podcasts can provide.”
As part of the collaboration, Kaleidoscope and iHeartPodcasts will release one new fascinating investigative podcast each month for listeners to enjoy. Shows launching over the next few months include:
“OBSESSIONS: Wild Chocolate” – Available today – is hosted by award-winning food journalist Rowan Jacobson. This weekly podcast is all about the world’s rarest chocolate, Cru Sauvage, which features otherworldly tasting notes — place a square on your tongue and it yields “a chocolate fog” with waves of flavor, from leather to pineapple.
Centuries ago, when Cortes opened Montezuma’s vault, he found over a million of these purest beans. But since then, the heavenly cacao has become a ghost, untraceable. That is, until Luisa Abram got a tip – deep in the Brazilian Amazon there might be a tiny grove worth the treasure hunt. The catch: she’d have to race there to beat other chocolate hunters, adventure into the heart of the Amazon and risk her life to save the land she loves. New episodes post every Wednesday. Listen now
“Skyline Drive” – a weekly podcast that takes a journey through the global obsession with astrology. From the doctor in Dubai who reads palms in utero to determine the exact moment a woman should have a c-section, to the way Nancy and Ronald Reagan first became lured by astrology and then used it guide national policy, to the millions of potential marriages across the globe that are either ended or initiated by the stars, this series peeks under the hood at the culture and business of astrology. Hosted by Mangesh Hattikudur, “Skyline Drive” will premiere November 29 with new episodes each Tuesday.
“The Good Thief” – the weekly podcast follows Vassilis Palaiokostas, the bank robber known as “Greece’s Robin Hood” with a million Euro bounty on his head. Palaiokostas robs banks for millions and gives the money to the poor; when he kidnaps industrialists — only those who are known for unfair labor practices — they give baffling interviews to the press showing how he opened their minds and call him a friend for life; and when he escapes heavily reinforced prisons, as he’s done twice now, he does so by walking onto a helicopter.
Palaiokostas is the rarest of masterminds — a simple man who retreats to monasteries, has no wants aside from a love of 80s action movies and weed and a strong desire to keep robbing the rich to give to the poor. Through rare access, this podcast will give new context to Palaiokostas’ background and showcase how one of Interpol’s Most Wanted became Greece’s favorite folk hero. “The Good Thief” will premiere January 2023.
“Murder in Little Haiti” – a follow-up to the hit podcast “Forgotten: Women of Juarez,” this weekly show once again follows Oz Woloshyn as he and award-winning investigative reporter Ana Arana take up a cold case that continues to haunt Miami’s “Little Haiti” neighborhood. In the early 1990s, three radio DJs were murdered in short order.
The detective in charge of the investigation said “These men were killed for words they spoke on the airwaves,” but the murders were never solved, leaving a wound in the Haitian community that is open to this day. Part spy story, part noir, the cold case involves racism, criminal operatives, corruption and drug trafficking, and paints a portrait of Miami as “a forward operating base for the CIA.”
Arana first reported on the crimes in the early 1990s and revisits a story that has continued to haunt her, in a community that never receives the media attention that it deserves and needs to stay safe. “Murder in Little Haiti” is set to premiere this February 2023.