Well known for its presence in terrestrial AM/FM Radio, Cumulus Media has broadened their offerings in the age of digital content by acquiring major media outlets such as I Heart Radio and Westwood One. Their most recent endeavor was to create the “OG Podcast Network” to begin producing podcasts in all areas. With the rise in popularity of digital content via podcasts, Cumulus has looked to its current stable of talent and the NYC comedy scene to recruit for a podcast network roster. We explored the comedy side of podcasts that Cumulus Media’s “OG Podcast Network” is now offering.
Before leaving his position with Cumulus Media, NYC Standup comedian and producer Mike Coscarelli led a push to add comedy podcasts to the OG roster. Coscarelli was previously a producer for the Curtis & Kuby show, and recognized that there were amazing comedy podcasts available that had not been centralized to a network.
Coscarelli told us, “I saw myself being a third wheel (as Curtis & Kuby’s producer) and thinking what’s my future in all this? So I went to the powers-that-be at the station and presented an idea about a podcast presence. I have this network of people in NYC comedians I can bring in and start to do their podcasts for us. So I got very lucky with the timing, because within six months the ad agencies that traditionally worked with the company on the terrestrial side recognized the lack of podcasts. The point was that if they made some content available the business would increase. Since I had taken the lead and proposed some kind of plan they were like… okay… we’re in… let’s do it”.
Coscarelli now had the responsibility to start putting together the podcast network. “For me it became about all these comedians that I knew from around New York City, I knew if we brought them on to the OG Network we could make their projects bigger. But I also wanted to make sure we gave the talent enough room to let them do what they want to do. That was part of the deal when I went in there, the structure for all the deals with these people is they’re working with us and we allow them to do their content. We’re on the side of the artist”.
With approximately 25 podcasts added to their catalog, OG looked to cover all interest areas from Sports to Film. Focusing on the eight Comedy podcasts being offered, we had the opportunity to speak with the hosts of three of the comedy podcasts on the OG Network:
Hosted by Casey James Salengo, Will Winner and Patrick Schroeder; GDU was the first Comedy podcast to come aboard the network. As Patrick Schroeder told us, “We were their first podcast and we consider ourselves to be the flagship. No one may take that seriously, but it was a big deal to us.” On GDU the guys focus on trying to bring a female perspective to their comically limited male point of view. Patrick told us “We have female comedians come on and they just basically correct us… they bring some reason to our ridiculous opinions.” Coscarelli was aware of the independent podcast, and reached out to bring them to the OG Network. “I had always been a big radio fan, and being in an actual studio and having all the equipment was very exciting, compared to using our recorder at home”, says Schroeder. “Mike Coscarelli changed the network to help Market us and make the audience grow”.
Patrick Schroeder described “The Good, The Dad and the Ugly” for us: “It’s three sort of ignorant, but well-meaning idiots… talking to a woman who knows better than we do…. and learning. So we can become better and less ignorant about things. It’s also about not being shy, it’s about not knowing things. Most of our emails and feedback comes from female listeners, because it seems like they want to hear us being open and asking questions”.
Hosted by Andrea Allan and Emily Lubin, two blossoming comedians and world-class train wrecks. The HMCH brings in a comedian guest for every episode and comically exams their personal demons and baggage. Andrea Allan told us about the move to the OG Podcast network: “Emily & I were connected with the “Keith and the Girl” podcast and they were recording for us. I had a relationship with Mike Coscarelli, a comedian and good friend of mine. He was reaching out to the independent comedy podcasters that he felt very strongly about, and he thought we would help build a good brand on the network. Mike was just so passionate about it and we really trusted to work with him. It seemed he would build a great Network to be a part of, which is a big reason why we joined. Also we wanted an opportunity to showcase ourselves. So we had an arrangement with them where they would help us on the business end and also help us record the show. We entered as a part of their dossier, and it seemed like a really good fit— whereas, we could both kind of help each other and try to learn something pretty cool. So we haven’t considered being on a network until Mike reached out”.
Andrea Allan described “The Hot Mess Comedy Hour” for us: “Emily & I were inundated with personal struggles. We also noticed that amongst comedians, that everyone has something strange kind of going on underneath the hood. People who have these problems are all so talented and funny, and we wanted to do the podcast to let everyone know that they’re not alone in struggling with something. Also the comedy world is its own specific crazy place, so the show allowed us to reach out to people in the community and start diving into their craziness. It’s partly a mental health podcast, an important and really fun exploration of the way people are. We’re from a school of creating very real content, and trying to connect with our fans on a level that’s very personal. It’s been a pretty interesting exploration of what it means to live in the public eye”.
Born from the ashes of the popular “Center City Comedy Podcast”, comedians H. Foley & Kevin Ryan reunite to discuss those everyday occurrences and interactions that push normal people ever closer to the edge of losing it. “Hard Feelings” weekly explores holding grudges (healthy and insane), and those lingering arguments that stick in your head once they are long over and you are in the shower. H. Foley told us about the move to the OG Podcast network: “Mike Coscarelli told us that Cumulus was launching a podcast network, and that he wanted us to be involved. We had just finished our previous project the “Center City Comedy Podcast”, so we were happy to come aboard and start something new. We launched at the OG Podcast network and couldn’t be happier. There’s going to be opportunity for us, the facilities and the recording space are awesome. We had been struggling for several years with different podcasts networks trying to accommodate us, and it was always a long-term plan to get involved with a network, now it’s nice to have a sturdy home base. The thing about comedy is that focusing on funny is only one aspect, it’s also the hustle. People have to be actors, writers and producers. We had to do all of that for so many years, that it’s nice to be in a place full of professionals where other people can do some of the production work. Now we can focus on taking care of the content, and pushing it further.
Foley described the “Hard Feelings Podcast” for us: Kevin and I were together in the past and we wanted to sharpen the focus on this next project. We have a good rapport, and we think alike. A lot of the same things drive us crazy… I drive him crazy, he drives me crazy. We came up with hard feelings… a lot of time we’ll say “no hard feelings’, But you will have extreme feelings from an encounter or situation. It could be something simple, the way someone acts towards you at a coffee shop or on the subway. Weird things in the world in general that drives you nuts. Living in New York there’s no limit to the things we can think of and we each tell our new hard feelings story every week. We talk about what happened and analyze it… and tease each other. We also reach out to the listeners to write in and tell us stories about things that piss them off; we thought that would be good for blowing off some steam about the situation. They email in and we try to make fun of it a little bit, but we also try to give them some advice. For our listeners it’s good to hear other people going through this knowing that they’re not the absolute crazy one in the situation”.
The OG Podcast network has retained other popular shows for their platform. A cult and fan favorite is The “Rad Dudecast” featuring New York Comedians Anthony Devito, Brendan Eyre and Greg Stone talking about life, love, weird news stories and basically whatever they feel like.
The “Well Red Podcast” featuring Trae Crowder, Drew Morgan and Corey Ryan Forrester (Authors of The Liberal Redneck Manifesto, and comedians on The Well Red Comedy Tour) host a weekly podcast featuring guests from all walks of life.
“How to Survive in the City” hosted by Justin B. Love invites guests to share a weekly survival guide to making it in the big city. Justin presents people from around New York City that have made it in different industries, and gets their stories about coming up while struggling.
Take the time to explore all the podcasts available on the OG Podcast network. Several comedy podcasts not listed here are available as well as shows that cover other topics such as politics, finance and literature. The main focus that Mike Coscarelli had in starting the network for Cumulus was to support comedy and upcoming comedians, to tap into the comedy scene and provide opportunities to talented people that may go unnoticed while independently broadcasting.