"I don't think podcasts can fall into any pitfalls. I think that's the best part of podcasting."
If you think about your favorite recent podcasts, there’s a good chance that Signal Awards Judge Anna Hossneih has worked on them.
She is a Managing Executive Producer at the iHeart Podcast network, where she produces hit shows like Las Culturistas, The Daily Zeitgeist, This Is Important, The Ron Burgundy Podcast, and many others. She is also the co-host of Ethnically Ambiguous.
In 2020, she founded Next Up Initiative, a program at iHeartRadio that brings creators from all backgrounds, including members of historically underrepresented groups, to take part in a six month long podcasting bootcamp that ends with each creator having the opportunity to pitch their show to iHeart for development. On top of creating the Next Up Initiative, she sits on the board of iHeart’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee.
We were lucky enough to chat with Anna about the podcasts she’s loving right now and some of her favorite Signal Award winners from last season.
What podcast made you fall in love with podcasting?
The early days of Comedy Bang Bang really brought me joy and got me into podcasting.
If you’re stuck on a desert island, what one podcast do you take with you?
Celebrity Book Club with Chelsea Devantez!
What’s the most innovative podcast being made right now?
Normal Gossip is so great! I think it’s the most perfect podcast. I love hearing about random people from random places with juicy gossip and this show just hits the spot.
What podcasts have your favorite cover art?
No Autographs Please! I love the silly and chaotic tabloid feel to it.
Who are some of your favorite podcast co-hosts?
I love Arden Myrin and Bryan Safi finally teaming up for a show that is pure chaos! (No Autographs Please). Also Devin Leary and Carolina Barlow of True Romance are so great together. Their friendship really shines through.
Who has the best voice for podcasting?
I’ve been really enjoying Kara Swisher on the Succession podcast lately. Also X’unei Lance Twitchell of The Tongue Unbroken has a beautiful voice I love listening to.
What podcasts make you laugh?
Watch What Crappens is hilarious! So is Good Children. And of course No Autographs Please.
What will you be looking for when reviewing Signal Award entries?
To see what new shows are out there! I love learning about shows that I haven’t come across yet due to at times being insulated by my own shows.
What Signal Award entries that you reviewed last season stood out to you?
I found About A Girl to be such a cool show! I don’t know if I would have discovered it outside of seeing it on the Signal Awards. Also Edith! was an interesting ride I wasn’t expecting.
What are some common mistakes or pitfalls that you see podcasts fall into, and how can podcasters avoid them?
I don’t think podcasts can fall into any pitfalls. I think that’s the best part of podcasting. You can really explore what you want your show to be and change it around if you feel the need to. It’s an open and creative medium.
Follow Anna on Twitter at @annahossnieh and on Instagram at @sellinghossnieh. You can also read her writing on her Substack Selling Hossnieh.