Wondery, the podcast network owned by Amazon (AMZN), has hired N’Jeri Eaton of Netflix and Apple Podcasts, Variety reported today (June 5). She will head co-productions for third-party limited series podcasts, like those Wondery presently co-produces with NBC News (“Do No Harm”), The Boston Globe (Gladiator: Aaron Hernandez and Football Inc.), and Bloomberg (“Spellcaster: The Fall of Sam Bankman-Fried”).
Eaton will manage these partnerships and build new ones, her new boss George Lavender said in a LinkedIn post.
“I have long been a fan of Wondery,” Eaton told Variety. “From ‘Dirty John’ to ‘Harsh Reality,’ Wondery has a well-earned reputation for incredible storytelling. I am thrilled to join the team to continue collaborations with companies like Bloomberg as well as seeking out new partnerships.”
Amazon has been working to expand its podcast business in recent years. While the podcast industry is expected to grow through 2030, according to data company Demand Sage, the declined advertising market has introduced challenges that have podcast publishers cutting costs and laying off employees. Amazon’s purchase of Wondery in 2020 reportedly cost the e-commerce company $300 million, or 1.4 percent of the net income Amazon earned in the year leading up to the acquisition. Amazon doesn’t report on Wondery’s profitability in its earnings statements, so it is unclear if the sale paid off.
Eaton isn’t the only media executive to join Wondery recently. In February, the company hired Angie More, Spotify’s former head of global podcast sales. More now works as Wondery’s head of advertising revenue. The company is hiring for 10 open positions, including general brand and sales executives, according to Amazon’s jobs page. That count is similar to the open position total at competitors NPR, Apple Podcasts and Barstool Sports.
Who is N’Jeri Eaton?
Eaton most recently worked as Netflix’s head of audio and podcast programming, where she was for two years. As the first podcast head for Netflix, she led the streaming company’s podcast strategy, which focused on creating podcasts to accompany Netflix’s original movies and series. During her time at Netflix, the company produced seasons of The Sandman: Dreamcast, The Crown: The Official Podcast and Know It All, where hosts discuss Netflix content, among other shows. Before Netflix, Eaton worked as the head of content at Apple Podcasts for one year. She aided in creating Apple’s podcast subscription program for creators, according to Variety.
Eaton also spent four years beginning in 2016 at National Public Radio (NPR). She worked as the senior manager of program acquisitions, where she sourced talent, partnerships and content for the company, according to Variery. Her projects included “Believed,” a podcast about Olympic gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar; “White Lies,” a true crime podcast and Pulitzer Prize finalist; and “No Compromise,” which won a Pulitzer and investigates gun rights advocacy.
Prior to NPR, Eaton worked for five years at Independent Television Service, which funds documentaries for public television. As content development and initiative manager, she selected which filmmakers received funding and acted as an advisor during production, according to her LinkedIn. She worked in both the open call and diversity development fund, which supported producers of color.