I'm looking for options for a host for a branded podcast. The podcast is narrative-style, and it's about how we'll live in the future. It will be produced in partnership with a major tech company. The kinds of podcasts we make are similar to This American Life. We'd like a British host, ideally based in either New York or London. We'd like both male and female options—and a diverse pool to choose from (not all white guys!).
The search for potential British podcast hosts living in London or New York, who also fit the search criteria, presented a surprisingly difficult challenge. The podcast and tech-talk worlds themselves seem sharply bent toward "white guys," resulting in a list that isn't as diverse as one might think.
However, I was able to compile a moderately diverse list of potential hosts who fit the expected criteria and would likely be open to presenting branded content. I was unable to pinpoint potential candidates who were British and living in New York, as most people do not classify nationality when posting resumes. Because of this, all the personalities on my list are based in London.
Most of the options on my list are currently unattached to branded mass media. However, I did include a few options who are currently working with branded media companies (E!, BBC and The Associated Press), because of how dynamic I found them to be during the search process.
Finding potential hosts with a relatively high following presented a separate set of challenges, as given the nature of the media industry, most personalities with and existing substantial following are already working with news or media companies or associated with branded media firms via independent contract.
In my deep dive below, I have provided information about each potential host, as well as provided my own perspective on their presentation and public persona. I have also included my findings in the attached spreadsheet.
POTENTIAL PODCAST HOSTS
Jez Back is a TV host and the producer of a new show called "The Cloud Show," which centers around cloud technology. For almost six years, he was a member of the management team working in technology for Deloitte. He is not a well-known name in media, but his reputation is solid. He seems comfortable speaking during interviews and is very comfortable in front of the camera.
Fayon is one of my personal favorites on this list. She's not well known, but her voice presence and on-screen presence is very strong. She seems comfortable. Fayon is not a "white guy," and, the thing that stood out about her most is that she is the host for "Meet The Future You," which are dynamic networking events for the upcoming generation of young people, to help them engage in career possibilities within the fields of engineering and science.
Julia Hardy -
Julia is another of my favorites. She is a tech-saavy female gaming expert who has amassed a bit of a cult following for her presence on BBC's first ever gaming show. While she is working as a show host, she would definitely be a good fit as podcast host. Her presence on camera and on radio is dynamic and as a female tech expert, she represents a unique demographic.
Georgie is another female tech-savvy broadcaster. She is the host of "The Gadget Show" on Channel 5 and her presence on camera is fun and captivating. Her voice work is natural and she is fun to watch. According to her website, "Radio work includes being a regular guest on BBC'S Tech Tent, commenting on breaking tech stories for Radio 2 and talking through the morning papers on talkSPORTS Breakfast Show."
Alexis is a TV and radio personality who is best as the man who helps people protect themselves against tech scams in the virtual world, as the writer and presenter of The Radio Hustle on TalkRADIO and the BBC show, "The Real Hustle." While not overtly tech driven, Alexis is interesting to listen to and has a dynamic personality that resonates well with listeners. He is considered an authority figure and his popularity is growing at a steady clip.
Jonny is an unknown personality, but has a solid knowledge of production for TV and radio. He is the host of a new web show called "Tech Talk" and his presence on screen and via voice is natural and captivating despite being somewhat new to the scene. He is included because of his drive and academic success and his interest in tech. He is completely unattached from media, which indicates there would be no branded content concerns.
Paul Papadimitriou -
Originally from Switzerland, but based in London, Paul is a bit of a wild card from the search perspective. He is not British. He is predominantly into public speaking, but he's very dynamic and knowledgeable and he's good in an interview setting. His accent is interesting and his tech interest is apparent.
Mal is a "keynote leadership speaker, social futurist & commentator (BBC, Sky, ABC, R4 etc), broadcaster and author based in London. He is also the Chairman of 2020Plus, a London-based Think Tank on social change and leadership innovation." He's not specifically into technology, but many of his topics revolve around advancement and future development in the tech space. He is good in front of a camera and his voice carries well and emotes in an interview setting.
Steve Hargrave -
The Associated Press
"Steve is an experienced and creative UK TV and Radio Presenter and Correspondent with over 10 years live TV and broadcasting history. A passionate and enthusiastic broadcaster, able to perform calmly in high-pressure live TV environments." He's very fun to watch, cheeky and entertaining. He carries conversation comfortably and comes across as witty, despite his entertaining persona. He's not connected to the tech industry in any way, and he is currently under contract with The Associated Press.
Sarah Jane Crawford -
Sarah Jane is a dynamic media personality. She seems very in-tune with pop culture, but she's also a tech entrepreneur. She is attractive and carries herself well on camera, and she also interviews well and has her own small fan base. She is currently connected to E!, and would definitely be a wild card option, but could add a unique component to a tech-based podcast. She would definitely be an unexpected choice, which might be refreshing for brand growth.
David Green -
David is a completely "outside the box" candidate. He's knowledgeable and interviews very well. He's considered an authority in the realm of people analytics and he "a globally respected writer, speaker, conference chair and executive consultant on people analytics, data-driven HR and the future of work." He has a emotive voice and an intelligent delivery. He seems passionate about tech integration for the future and he's funny, in a subtle way.
To recap, it was quite challenging to populate a list of potential podcast candidates who fit the search criteria and were not already represented by branded media. However, I was able to compile a relatively diverse list of potential hosts. Unfortunately, there are several "white guys" on the list, as the industry seems dominated by that demographic. The names I chose are relatively unknown, but all have observable abilities vocally and as presenters. Above, I have provided information about each potential host, as well as provided my own perspective on their presentation and public persona. I have also included my findings in the attached spreadsheet.