Author Archives: Candace Williams

Cooper Lawrence and Real Housewives Nicole Napolitano and Teresa Aprea launch “Girls in Heels” podcast with BlogTalkRadio

BlogTalkRadio is proud to announce the launch of “Girls in Heels” on Tuesday, August 25th.

“Girls in Heels” is an exciting project by prominent New York radio and TV personality Cooper Lawrence, with twins Nicole Napolitano and Teresa Aprea, two of the stars of the iconic reality TV show “Real Housewives of New Jersey” on Bravo TV.

“We’re delighted to add Girls in Heels to our lineup at BlogTalkRadio,” said General Manager and Chief Architect, Andy Toh. “Their provocative discussions lead to conversations that are highly relatable and will resonate with a wide cross section of listeners.”

Cooper Lawrence commented, “Since the three of us first met and discovered our chemistry, we’ve been looking for the right project. The growth and intimacy of podcasting is perfect for us and BlogTalkRadio offered the right combination of independence, revenue generation and favorable terms that indicate their sensitivity to the needs of talent.”

The first episode of the show includes a report from the twins on a recent barbecue at the Giudice home and how Joe and the kids are doing while Teresa Giudice is in prison. Teresa G is currently serving 15 months at the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, CT after she, and her husband Joe, pled guilty to bankruptcy fraud.

Check out Girls In Heels on BlogTalkRadio


The twins also reveal which of them is more outspoken.

Check out Girls In Heels on BlogTalkRadio


A new episode of “Girls in Heels” will be released on BlogTalkRadio each Tuesday. Listen and subscribe here:  

About BlogTalkRadio

BlogTalkRadio helps podcasters thrive and profit from their content. Founded in 2006, the pioneering platform is a holistic toolkit that helps podcasters record, broadcast live, distribute, measure, and monetize conversational format podcasts featuring guests and listeners from any geographic location. All podcasters need is a laptop, microphone, and a decent Internet connection to run a high-quality show. 


BlogTalkRadio Brings Radio Programming Veteran Denise Oliver to Podcasting

BlogTalkRadio is on a new mission to help podcasters thrive and profit from their hard work. The company has retained nationally known programming veteran Denise Oliver as a Programming Consultant and Strategist, a role that will see Ms. Oliver help talk/spoken word format talent, and a variety of content partners enter podcasting.

“Over the course of my career, I’ve been privileged to work with so many talented people, and I’m really looking forward to helping talk/spoken word format creators bring their skills to this fast growing medium. The new team at BlogTalkRadio is making great strides in transforming their platform with upgraded audio, and tools that make it easier to create, manage, stream, syndicate, and measure podcasts anywhere, any time, all within a single platform. I believe the platform will play a critical role in bringing many more talented creators into the field of podcasting.”

Denise shares a bond with on-air personalities, having started her career as a DJ. After launching 98 Rock, Baltimore, she helped make radio history when she introduced Howard Stern and Robin Quivers, bringing them to DC101. She then joined ABC Radio Networks and later United Stations and Westwood One where, as SVP, Programming she worked with content partners including MTV, CNN, CNBC, Fox News, CBS, The Tonight Show and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. In 2000, Denise was named to Radio Ink’s list of the 20 Most Influential Women in radio. Denise has since been a co-founder of 3 startups and consulted high profile media companies including SiriusXM, the Associated Press, Forbes, Inc., WWE, Hachette Filipacchi, Discovery Communications and E!

“We have been consistently impressed with Denise’s grasp of the talk format and the new media economy. Her wisdom from years in radio will help many in the BTR host community add to their programming the flair and structure needed to attract and engage listeners, all while respecting the more casual and intimate nature of the podcast format. We are privileged to have someone with Denise’s deep experience and insights join us in our mission”, said Andy Toh, BlogTalkRadio’s Chief Architect and General Manager. Andy was hired by the BlogTalkRadio board in early 2014 to fundamentally transform the 8 year old platform from the inside out.

About BlogTalkRadio
BlogTalkRadio helps podcasters thrive and profit from their content. Founded in 2006, the pioneering BlogTalkRadio platform is a unified toolkit that helps podcasters record, stream live or on demand, syndicate, measure and monetize conversational format podcasts featuring guests and listeners from any geographic location, with nothing more than a laptop, a microphone and a broadband internet connection.

Pod Vader’s Podcast Awards Nominees

Here you go folks, these are my picks for the Podcast Awards. Feel free to take or leave my suggestions. In the end, it’s my ballot and opinion. And we all know what they say about opinions…

People’s Choice – ESPN Fantasy Focus: Football
Reason: Because I worked on it for a majority of the year. In all seriousness, it’s very self-serving of me to nominate my show for the top podcast award and I would be humbly honored if you nominated it as well. The Worst Farewell Tour in History could have a perfect ending with a podcast award. Remember, this is it for this podcast as it will never exist again with Matthew, Nate, Stephania and myself. Secret Squirrel gets a pat on the back for his 2.5 months of service. I think we all know Serial will win this category anyways…

Best Produced – RadioLab
Reason: They should rename this category the RadioLab Award. There isn’t a single show that is better produced. I still spend too much of my time trying to figure out how they put all the sounds together to make such a compelling story. If you know of a better production, please let me know.

Business – The Livelihood Show
Reason: Marcy Rosenbaum has a way of making the discussions feel so personable. It’s warm and inviting – the exact opposite of what I feel business really is. That’s what makes this podcast so good.

Comedy – Doug Loves Movies
Reason: So many candidates in this category and I listen to all of them. But when I’m down and I really need a laugh, it’s Doug Loves Movies that I always find myself turning to. Realize I’m also trying to nominate all my favorite shows so picking the right category to get them all nominated in is difficult.

Cultural/Arts – The Yarn Thing
Reason: I just found this podcast as I was scanning through shows for my new job at BlogTalkRadio and you’ll be pleasantly surprised that this show is more than just yarn. The production quality is sound and Marly really knows how to spin a yarn (yeah, I went there with that pun. Couldn’t resist!)

Education – Grammar Girl
Reason: Another category that should just be renamed. Thought about one of the many different history podcasts here too, but in the end, Grammar Girl is all about the education. Some of those history podcasts are more about the entertainment. Not saying Grammar Girl isn’t entertaining…oh boy, I dug myself in a hole. Probably had some real bad syntax errors in here as well. Moving on…

Entertainment – Rob Has A Podcast
Reason: I like the reality TV shows. Rob podcasts about reality tv shows. He does a fantastic job and I couldn’t be more proud of the success he’s enjoyed recently. Despite what others might tell you, this show is definitely worth more than zero earbuds. It’s worth the whole dang iPod (or iPhone – whichever you prefer).

Food and Drink – Let’s Drink About It
Reason: Another show I came across due to my new job responsibilities at BlogTalkRadio, but this one isn’t on our platform. It’s fantastic! The creative idea of linking an adult beverage to a meaningful point in life is simply brilliant. Try this one out. You won’t be sorry.

Gaming – Joystiq Podcasts
Reason: Another category with a high level of competition. Joystiq shows are entertaining and informative. That’s a good combination for any podcast.

General – Call Your Girlfriend
Reason: A great show that happens to be on BlogTalkRadio, yes. But I’m not the only one who thinks so. Check out Entertainment Weekly’s article about the 20 Podcasts You Need to Hear in 2015. Spoiler alert: this is one of them.

Health and Fitness – 1, 2, Many: Veteran Suicide
Reason: Tim Lawson has put together a very important show on a difficult topic that can’t stay hidden in the shadows. Very honored that he brought this show to BlogTalkRadio and I applaud him on his efforts.

Mature – WTF with Marc Maron
Reason: Ok, I think the category is meant to be directed at other content than what I have nominated here. But think about it. Marc uses harsh language – it’s in the title of his show. He has grown-up, adult conversations with grown up adults. And the show has been around for a few years. It’s a mature talk show. (Plus, I already nominated other shows in People’s Choice, Comedy and General.)

Movies/Films – I Watch Mike
Reason: Mike is an entertaining guy who watches more than just movies. He watches tv shows and is all about the latest pop culture. But he does watch movies and that qualifies him for this category.

Podsafe Music – Coverville
Reason: Brian Ibbott consistently puts together the best podcast about cover songs ever. There isn’t a better music podcast out there and considering how difficult it is to feature music in downloadable content, makes this award one of the toughest to get. Period. This is another category that should be renamed for a show.

Politics/News – No Agenda
Reason: It’s the best podcast in the universe, hosted by the Podfather himself, Adam Curry and the great, John C. Dvorak. You can learn a lot about podcasting from listening to this show. I know I have.

Religion Inspiration – The Thinking Atheist
Reason: A super well done show that gets right to the heart of the matter. I understand atheism isn’t really a religion and I suppose you could say it’s anti-religion, but atheism shows have been nominated in this category before and I’m nominating Seth’s program here.

Science – RadioLab
Reason: See Best Produced.

Sports – ESPN Fantasy Focus: Football
Reason: If you disagree with me about being the best podcast overall in the People’s Choice category, it’s tough to say this isn’t the best sports podcast in the world. Plus, this show has won 6 awards. Getting a 7th award would be great but getting an 8th would be for Nate. #TheWorstFarewellTourEver

Technology – TWiT
Reason: Leo Laporte is a future hall of famer, if he isn’t inducted this year. Another category that should be renamed for the show.

Travel – WDW Radio
Reason: We should really consider re-naming these categories for shows that deserve the recognition. This show dominates the category. Period.

So those are my nominations. I’m sure you’ll disagree with some of my nods and that’s ok. As I said at the beginning of this process, we all have opinions. These are the shows that I feel most deserve recognition for 2014.

Sports Talk Radio Legend Tony Bruno Now Podcasting with BlogTalkRadio

BlogTalkRadio is excited to announce the arrival of The Tony Bruno Show to our podcast community. Tony Bruno is a sports talk radio legend from Philadelphia and was one of the original voices of the ESPN Radio network. He helped launch the Fox Sports Radio network and his career has spanned the globe.

“Tony lends us a strong credible voice in the world of sports talk and someone for our content creators to emulate. It’s a great pleasure to be rejoined with an old friend,” said Jay Soderberg, Head of Content for BlogTalkRadio.

Tony Bruno on why he choose BlogTalkRadio, “Deciding who to partner with was an exhaustive process. BlogTalkRadio is the ONLY company out there with a fully portable stream and call screener system built into one application and when they approached me with their new PRO STUDIO in full HD hosting platform, the choice was clear. I am excited to be a part of a company that is striving to bring both innovation and quality content directly to the fans.”

Tony Bruno is a man of the people and you can plan to see his show on the road including in Arizona for this year’s Super Bowl.

BlogTalkRadio will distribute, market and sell advertising for The Tony Bruno Show. New shows can be heard at and every Monday and Thursday.

Hear Tony’s latest episode here:

About BlogTalkRadio:

BlogTalkRadio is a podcasting platform committed to making the life of the podcaster as easy as possible. Founded in 2006, the BlogTalkRadio platform is a unified platform that enables the recording, live streaming, on-demand syndication, measurement and monetization of conversational format podcasts featuring guests and listeners from any geographic location, with nothing more than a laptop, a microphone and a broadband internet connection. Podcasts hosted on our platform are consumed by listeners in both live and/or on-demand basis via our website and a host of podcast syndication channels like iTunes and Stitcher. If you are an established radio host or podcaster seeking a new home for your podcasts, please email our Head of Content, Jay Soderberg at Sponsors interested in advertising, please email

ESPN’s Award-Winning Podcast Producer,Jay Soderberg, Joins BlogTalkRadio as Head of Content

[New York, Monday November 17, 2014] BlogTalkRadio is on a new mission to help podcasters create engaging content and make money for their hard work. Jay Soderberg, a former leader of ESPN’s podcasting division, has joined the BlogTalkRadio management team and will take a leading role shaping the company’s content portfolio as its new Head of Content. Soderberg will be focused on cultivating and expanding BlogTalkRadio’s already large community of podcasters who collectively produce tens of thousands of hours of topical content each month.

“Podcasts are quickly becoming the audio content format of the future. I’m very excited about the opportunity to help shepherd this outstanding host community toward the exciting vision for podcasting that we are shaping at BlogTalkRadio” said Soderberg.

Jay, also known as Pod Vader, has 23 years of experience in the highest echelons of radio and podcast production. He launched and ran ESPN’s podcasting efforts for 8 years. His radio journey began at NPR and Christian Science Monitor Radio where he developed his expertise with the best-in-class processes for the editing and production of top-quality audio content. Applying these skills, he later became the mastermind behind many of ESPN’s most successful podcasts, including Fantasy Focus and Football Today. His six awards include podcasting’s highest honor, The People’s Choice Podcast Award, which he earned in 2009 and 2012.

“In our quest to find our Head of Content, we sought to find a leader with hands on knowledge of the craft, who intimately understands and identifies with the aspirations of podcasters, and sincerely cares about the success and wellbeing of this great community. I believe we’ve found the perfect fit with Pod Vader” said Andy Toh, GM and Chief Architect of BlogTalkRadio.

Bob Charish, Chief Revenue Officer and Co-Founder Bob Charish added. “BlogTalkRadio was among the first platforms created for podcasters, and we a very excited to now be taking the company to the next level. We are extremely happy to welcome Jay and his long track record of successful podcasts to his name. I know that with Jay’s help our community will thrive.”

About BlogTalkRadio
BlogTalkRadio helps podcasters create, distribute and profit from their content. Founded in 2006, the BlogTalkRadio platform is a unified platform that enables the recording, live streaming, syndication, measurement and monetization of conversational format podcasts featuring guests and listeners from any geographic location, with nothing more than a laptop, a microphone and a broadband internet connection.

BlogTalkRadio is Leading the Way with Branded Content

Check out this article in PR Weekly about how BlogTalkRadio is at the forefront of the $1.5 billion branded content industry. Along with Forbes and Buzzfeed, BlogTalkRadio’s CEO Alan Levy discusses how we are changing the game…

Last year, $1.5 billion was spent on branded content designed to mimic the look of editorial, according to Pew Research Center’s 2013 State of the News Media Report.

Compared to the $8.6 billion spent on banner advertisements in 2012, this may not seem like much. However, spending for sponsored content rocketed 45% in 2011 and then 39% in 2012.

Forbes, for example, recently charged sponsors $50,000 to $75,000 per month for a four-month contract when it ran approximately 1,200 native-ad programs through September as part of its BrandVoice format [above]. The posts garnered more than 1 million social engagements on platforms including Twitter and Facebook.

To address this mushrooming trend, the Federal Trade Commission held a workshop in December titled, Blurred Lines: Advertising or Content? Speakers debated the ethics behind blending ads and editorial content.

“By presenting ads that resemble editorial content, an advertiser risks implying – deceptively – that the information comes from a non-biased source,” said FTC chairwoman Edith Ramirez at the conference.

This echoes the sentiments of The Wall Street Journal‘s managing editor Gerard Baker. In September, he decried news outlets’ practice of portraying branded content in an editorial style as a deal with the devil. His main fear is that branded content could risk damaging the reputation of news outlets as purveyors of honest journalism.

If Baker’s assumption is accurate, then a number of print, digital, and broadcast outlets – both new and seasoned, including the Journal itself, The Washington Post, The Huffington PostSlateBusiness Insiderand The Atlantic – are in on this so-called Faustian pact, hosting branded content for household names such as IBM, JetBlue, Pillsbury, Dell, UPS, McDonald’s, and BMW.

Church and state separation
Eric Harris, EVP of business operations at BuzzFeedwas in attendance at the FTC’s meeting. He argues that, when done objectively, branded content can work as a legitimate revenue stream.

“When done well, active and social advertising, with church and state separation and proper labeling, is anything but selling your soul to the devil,” he explains. “From our perspective, as long as people know it is 
advertising, we don’t see how this is a bad thing.”

BuzzFeed has no banners and all of its revenue is from branded content. For each program, the outlet creates several pieces of content for or with the brand or agency, which pays BuzzFeed to “natively” promote that content on its website and across social platforms.

Harris defines branded content as material created along with brands and agencies that speaks to the aspirations and attributes they want to communicate to the market. BuzzFeed has been using branded content, or 
as the company refers to it – social content-driven advertising – for four years.

Forbes has strict guidelines to separate the editorial from the sales side of the business. The outlet has an editorial newsroom made up of full-time editors and staff reporters that extends to 1,200 contributors, all of whom report to Lewis DVorkin, Forbes Media’s chief product officer. The magazine also has a separate brand newsroom, which has its own staffers, who report to sales.

DVorkin sees a growing trend where advertisers are creating their own content for Forbes to host.

“A number of our BrandVoice partners are starting to build their own mini newsrooms and hiring journalists to write to a consumer audience,” says DVorkin. “Advertisers that are doing this are performing quite well with their content on our site.”

Meanwhile, social radio network BlogTalkRadio’s editorial team works across both branded and general content, including news, sports, and entertainment.

More than 1,800 shows are created on the network every day. By working in this way, the team handpicks what it believes is the best content for advertisers to connect with. BlogTalkRadio’s model differs from most native advertising as the network’s content already exists – it is simply curated for advertisers. That means the branded content doesn’t compromise the editorial line, quality, or the listeners’ enjoyment of the content, explains the network’s CEO Alan Levy.

“As most of our content is produced independently by our hosts, we don’t have any issues with maintaining a balanced editorial line,” he says. “Our main challenge is making sense of the thousands of hours of new content on the platform, and making sure we are pulling out the very best of it for our partners to be associated with.”

Transparency is key
When it comes to branded and editorial content, transparency is crucial for reputable news sources and is key to authenticity.

Forbes’ branded content is labeled and identified with a blurb, clearly visible at the top of sponsored posts.

To highlight branded audio content, BlogTalkRadio plays a 10-second audio piece at the beginning of each episode and incorporates a placeholder image with brand logos on its website, along with a written description of the show.

Guidelines for branded content tend to sit with a news outlet’s top-tier management team, which must reach a unanimous agreement on decisions.

According to BuzzFeed’s Harris, branded content in video is the next big thing to look out for.

BuzzFeed is on a mission to educate brands and agencies about the art and science behind social-driven branded content, with a goal of helping the platform’s partners grow their businesses. In May, BuzzFeed launched the Social Storytelling Creator Program with VaynerMedia to provide “social storytelling agencies” with expanded training, tools, and support on its publishing platform.

That same month, BuzzFeed announced plans to invest in and expand video operations and build a social video studio in Los Angeles designed to create news and entertainment video content exclusively for YouTube. 
Expansion plans entail creating new channels, including recreating a video news format that is shareable.

“Our LA team is creating social videos from an editorial perspective, and they have grown our video presence on YouTube to more than 100 million views per month in about a year,” Harris explains. “Video consumption is moving toward short one- to three-minute movies that will be passed around like articles and listicles on social networks.”

Standing your ground
Of course, on the editorial side, not every piece of news about a brand is going to be favorable. This can cause conflict between a news outlet and a brand partner.

Publishers such as BuzzFeed make it clear from the start they do not edit content based on advertisers’ requests or needs. Harris says BuzzFeed, which works with many top brands, has lost a number of deals because of this. In 2013, the site was running more than 600 campaigns and advertisers counting in the double digits were upset with the outlet at one point or another.

“We get plenty of angry emails,” he says. “But we explain to advertisers that we are a news company, not unlike The New York Times – we keep our editorial and business separate. We don’t have control over what the editors write, nor do we want to. Most respect that, but every once in a while they don’t, and we lose a deal.” 

More top editorial titles are jumping on the branded content bandwagon with each passing moment. The New York Times will offer a form of native ads in 2014, and Time Inc. will also ramp up branded content efforts.

“This is a part of the advertising or marketing world that’s not going to go away,” DVorkin says. “We need to evolve it along with our partners. This is a learning curve for people on the editorial and marketing side.”

The Awards Season Network on BlogTalkRadio Gets You Set for the Golden Globes, Oscars, and Critics Choice Awards

This week we launched the Awards Season Network on BlogTalkRadio – a collection of interviews with movie stars, reviews of the biggest movies of the past year, and predictions for who will walk away with awards.



Check it out here.


The Golden Globes, Oscars, Critics Choice Awards and Screen Actors Guild Awards are all coming up soon, so we wanted to make sure all the great movie shows we have are easy to find.

Here’s a few of the highlights.

Bono and The Edge from U2 discussing the song they wrote for Mandela: Long Walk To Freedomclick here.

A Golden Globes preview show from Betty Jo Tucker on Movie Addict Headquarters – click here.

An interview with Lupita Nyong’o who is nominated for her role in 12 Years A Slaveclick here.


Columbia University Shares it’s Research and Ideas with the World Through BlogTalkRadio

Nothing makes us happier in the BlogTalkRadio offices when we get to help people share their thoughts, passions, and ideas with the world.  
And it’s been great to see Columbia University doing just that, using our platform to showcase the amazing work that they
The New York based university started a show for their Journalism School almost 5 years ago. They hold discussions on the use of social media in journalism, conduct interviews with reporters from CBS and NBC, and show-off their program to prospective students. Earlier this year they broadcast their show live from the 2013 Pulitzer Prizes, and spoke with nominees and winners – it’s a great listen, check it out here.
Columbia’s Department of Surgery also has a great archive of shows on BlogTalkRadio. They cover everything from the latest research on heart disease, to Breast Cancer treatments, to nutrition advice. These guys really are leaders in their field, so check out some episodes here.
Last month we worked with the Columbia Psychiatry Department on a series of special shows about OCD. They’re leading the way on understanding the condition, and their shows highlight their latest thoughts on coping with the disorder, treatments, and neurosurgery options.They also have an archive of shows that cover topics like eating disorders, marijuana use amongst teens, and treatments for depression. Take a listen.
We’ll be working closely with Columbia University in the future too, and will be sure to let you know about their upcoming projects.