Maria Menounos is an Emmy award-winning radio show, producer and entrepreneur.
Menounos, who recently survived surgery to remove a brain tumor, spoke with Adweek about her afterbuzz TV network, and how it evolved into a company with six state-of-art-cartoons Studio, over 100 weekly shows and over 150 countries reached, and how she juggles it all.
Menounos also talked about her radio show, conversations with Maria Menounos, which airs on weekdays at 10 a.m. PACIFIC time, and her new podcast, conversations with Maria Menounos “best”, which starts every Friday at 11 am PACIFIC time on iTunes.
This interview was edited and condensed for clarity.
Adweek: what inspired you to create the number of direct dial? And what kind of company you wanted to do?
Maria Menounos: actually it was my partner, Kevin, who was a fan of podcasts before understood. And we got inspiration from watching “Jersey shore” and “breaking bad” and wanted to talk about them later. He said, ‘let’s do the show after these concerts, it will be our version of poker’ and just took off. All our friends wanted to see it and do it, and it grew to 150 after the show in a week. We have more than 250 Hosts, which are placed after the show and a little over 1 billion downloads.
As the number of direct dial, began to develop, it is not just about love of TV. At some point, he also increased to help us to empower these young masters and develop your career along the way. And we wanted to build a new Hollywood business model, which not only expands our owners but also our employees. We cheer for their successes, if not more, than our own.
I’m sure it’s fun to watch your correspondents, who got their start on the number of direct dial, really grow in the industry.
We are so proud of, we call them our children. Sonia Deville in WWE go head to head with Ronda rousey. We helped her find her fight, she’s doing after the show for us. Kathy Kelly in WWE, Stephanie Bauer in Hollywood. Success stories, we have so many and it’s great because people come to me all the time and tell me, ‘I want you’, but You can’t get an agent without a reel, You can’t get work without an agent, you may not get the coil out of work.
You started from a set of more than six years ago. How your conversations with advertisers has changed?
Now I’m starting to see the value in going directly to the CMOS, because I think we offer something really unique. The old way to monetize this stuff is so archaic and I think being able to have a direct relationship a lot more. And indeed, we are open for cooperation with these brands because we could create content with them in mind. We could do much more with them instead of simply to live, or to read a small advertisement in the show.
We have more than 250 Hosts who are young dreamers, writers, all kinds of different talents and we develop projects with all of them in the house. They can be made aware that they have a voice in their hands.
What inspired you to start your own radio show?
I’m still a little and at some point, it was one of the many things I had on my plate. Now this is my main thing and I love it. The ability to broadcast from my home Studio while I was in intensive care was, obviously, very convenient. I had a revelation when I realized all I ever wanted was to show where I helped people learn and share information. And here’s what it shows. I do it every day. Every day something new and interesting, and I love it.
What made you want to start a podcast?
There are people who are not on Sirius, and I wish they could get the content. At the same time, I hope that people who are not listening to Sirius and I hope they will love it enough, they want to get a subscription.
What advice do you have for someone who is going through a tough time from a medical point of view and want to find this balance?
For me, I immediately realized that this is happening for me, not for me. What you’re doing in life, if you can approach him with this kind of mantra, you can find the silver lining. If you can do it with a brain tumor, you can do this for many things.