Stuff Media ("HowStuffWorks") is the world's leading for-profit publisher of podcasts. With more than 25 shows, including Stuff You Should Know, Stuff You Missed in History Class, Atlanta Monster and now Cabinet of Curiosities, the Stuff Media team reaches audiences on every platform where podcasts are consumed, with a library of over 10,000 episodes and well over 1 billion downloads to date. The company is headquartered in Atlanta and also operates studios out of Los Angeles.
Conal Byrne, President and CEO
- Led the launch of the HowStuffWorks podcast program 10 years ago when he was the head of content and then general manager of the company.
- Returned to the company in 2017 upon the Raine Group's $15MM investment. The company, now focused on podcasts, is on track to double revenue and downloads year-over-year.
- Conal was part of the 2008 HowStuffWorks team that was acquired by Discovery Communications. He subsequently worked eight years at Discovery, ultimately overseeing all digital properties across its biggest U.S. networks, including Discovery Channel itself.
Charles Bryant, Head of Development
- Began as co-host of Stuff You Should Know 10 years ago. Since then, that podcast has gone on to release over 1,000 episodes and was just recognized at Apple’s WWDC as the first podcast in history to reach the 500-million-download mark on Apple Podcasts. SYSK is also one of the largest touring podcasts, with dozens of live shows across the United States, Canada, Ireland and the UK. In September, the hosts will tour Australia and New Zealand.
- Named as Head of Development in October 2017 for the HowStuffWorks network.
- As Head of Development, Chuck has worked with the management team to oversee the launch of more than 20 new podcasts so far, as well as developing and executive producing several on his own slate.
Jeri Rowland, Head of Production
- Helped launch HowStuffWorks’ original slate of podcasts 10 years ago, alongside Conal Byrne. Singlehandedly developed and produced every podcast in the original slate while growing and structuring a core team of producers.
- Continues to hands-on produce the most downloaded podcast in the world, Stuff You Should Know.
- Now leads a team of 15 producers and editors, overseeing all levels of production across the network.
Will Pearson, Head of Business Affairs
- Co-founded Mental Floss in 2001. Under Pearson’s leadership, the company launched a book series with HarperCollins, a Mental Floss video division, an e-commerce division, and a line of children’s products in partnership with Melissa & Doug Toys.
- Led the sale of Mental Floss LLC to Dennis Publishing in 2011, and remained on as president as the business evolved to a digital-first company reaching more than 20 million readers/viewers each month.
- Will (as well as fellow Mental Floss co-founder Mangesh Hattikudur) joined HowStuffWorks in 2017 as part of the company’s new focus on podcasting. Will now serves as the head of business affairs, where he works with Conal to bring on new talent/partners. He is also the host of Part-Time Genius and an executive producer on several HowStuffWorks shows.
Jack O'Brien, Head of Comedy and the HowStuffWorks Los Angeles Studio
- Launched and leads the HowStuffWorks comedy division and Los Angeles studio, now with five podcasts on Apple Podcasts – including the hits The Daily Zeitgeist (which Jack co-hosts) and Behind Bastards (already in development for a TV show).
- Prior to HowStuffWorks, Jack co-founded Cracked.com, building an audience of 1.2 million unique visitors per day. He hosted the Cracked Podcast while acting as Editor in Chief and VP, overseeing all editorial and brand strategy.
- Jack has been in media for more than 20 years, beginning with his days as a producer and writer at ABC News.
Nathan Otoski, Head of Marketing
- As head of marketing, Nathan has pioneered HowStuffWorks' cross-platform strategy for growing new shows, with 20 podcasts launched in the past nine months, driving more than 47 Million downloads to date.
- Nathan's team manages all audience development for the company, including individual shows' websites, social media accounts and live tours.
- Prior to his role at HowStuffWorks, Nathan built his digital marketing expertise working for technology, entertainment and youth culture brands – including Sony PlayStation, Cartoon Network and Cox Communications, with more than 20 years of experience in the digital media marketing space.
Jason Hoch, Head of New Initiatives
- Responsible for building new distribution, licensing and platform relationships.
- Also Executive Producer of HowStuffWorks’ crime programming slate, including Atlanta Monster.
- Twenty years as an executive in the digital space, including SVP of Digital at WWE, VP of Product and Mobile at Discovery Communications, as well as three startup exits, including the 2008 acquisition of HowStuffWorks by Discovery Communications.
Chris Blake, Head of Sales
- Head of Sales for HowStuffWorks since 2016. Since then, he has ramped up the team to eight employees across New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.
- Launched dynamic ad Insertion for HowStuffWorks in 2017. Increased revenue the first year by 117%.
- Prior to entering the podcast industry, Chris had an extensive background in the music management business. He was then National Account Director for Voice Media Group/LA Weekly, handling the film, music and entertainment categories for 60 alt weeklies across the country. Grew ad revenues from $900k to $3 million year-over-year.
John Goforth, VP, Sales
- Former sales manager for CBS Radio, Chicago. Managed 20+ people and an annual budget of over $40M.
- Left terrestrial radio to pursue his passion point, podcasts, joining Midroll Media to build their Midwest team.
- John joined HowStuffWorks in 2017 and was the first hire of the recent sales expansion. He’s been intimately involved with not only day-to-day sales and growth, but the strategy of building the sales department into a unit that can 2x revenue in 2018 and beyond.
Jennifer McDermott, Head of Accounting
- Built the HowStuffWorks accounting team, coordinating Account Managers, AdOps Programmers and talent agreements/rev shares across 30+ podcast shows.
- Almost 20 years in the world of accounting (most of that work in the Bay Area, with KaiserAir and Americold).
- CPA, with expertise across every accounting platform and software (Traverse, SAP, QuickBooks, Concur, etc.).