Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

iHeartRadio

iHeartRadio's top country music radio host Bobby Bones is launching the Nashville Podcast Network, a podcast network built to lure Middle Americans into podcasts. The network will include six other podcasts to give listeners an inside look at the lifestyle and pop culture in Nashville, Tennessee, with the hope of drawing country music listeners in rural communities into iHeart's podcast network.

Why it matters: iHeart sees a business opportunity in bringing podcasting to a more diverse audience — including the center of the country, which is having trouble discovering content that resonates with them. The company is the second-largest podcast publisher in the U.S. behind NPR, with 525 original and branded podcasts, according to Podtrac.

  • "My goal is to bring the lifestyle and culture of Middle America to the podcast world, reaching an audience that has yet to be reached, by offering a broad range of content," says Bobby Bones. The network will launch with a new podcast called "Good Company with Jake Owen," featuring the country music star and Bones riffing about life and music.

iHeart is hoping to leverage its massive terrestrial radio footprint to get migrate listeners over to podcasts, where there are more diverse revenue opportunities.

  • "By leveraging our more than 850 radio stations across the country, we have the unique opportunity to introduce new podcasts to more than a quarter billion broadcast listeners – some of which may only be hearing about podcasting for the very first time," says Chris Peterson, senior vice president of podcasting for iHeartMedia.

Podcasting has typically catered to more high-end, urban audiences, and podcasts featured on popular distribution channels, like iTunes, are often produced from urban areas where the biggest distributors and podcast networks are located. Most listeners in the U.S. are highly educated, have higher household incomes and work full-time, according to Edison Research's latest podcast survey.

Expand chart
Data: Edison Research; Chart: Chris Canipe / Axios What's next? "Whats going to grow podcasting is more mass appeal content," says Tom Webster, vice president of strategy and marketing at Edison Research.
  • A game-changer: Podcast buffs will see a huge improvement in podcast data and discovery with changes to the Apple Podcasts app coming with iOS 11.
  • FYI: If you're interested in learning more about rural podcasts, Kelly Moffitt's "Flyover Pocasts" newsletter, is worth a read. (h/t podcast aficionado Lisa Kovitz of Edelman)

Go deeper

17 mins ago - Health

CDC panel recommends Pfizer boosters for high-risk individuals, people 65 and up

Photo: Marco Bello/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A key panel at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday recommended the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus booster shots for people 65 years old and older, as well as those at high risk of severe COVID-19.

Why it matters: The approval is the near-final step in making the booster shots available to tens of millions of Americans, and comes a day after the FDA approved Pfizer boosters for the two groups. CDC director Rochelle Walensky is expected to accept the recommendation.

DHS temporarily suspends use of horse patrol in Del Rio

U.S. Border Patrol agents watch as Haitian immigrant families cross the Rio Grande from Mexico into Del Rio, Texas on Sept. 23, 2021. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

The Department of Homeland Security on Thursday temporarily suspended the use of horse patrol in Del Rio, Texas a DHS spokesperson confirmed.

Why it matters: The suspension comes after images showing border patrol agents whipping at and charging their horses at migrants surfaced earlier in the week, prompting widespread criticism of the Biden administration's handling of the crisis at the border.

Southwest drought is worst on record, NOAA finds

In a stark new report, a team of NOAA and independent researchers found the 2020-2021 drought across the Southwest is the worst in the instrumental record, which dates to 1895.

Why it matters: They also concluded that global warming is making it far more severe, primarily by increasing average temperatures, which boosts evaporation.