Obamas’ Higher Ground Nabs Podcast Execs From Spotify and Pushkin Industries

Obamas’ Higher Ground Nabs Podcast Execs From Spotify and Pushkin Industries

Higher Ground, the media company from Barack and Michelle Obama, has hired podcast executives from Spotify and Pushkin Industries to expand its audio division.

Corinne Gilliard, most recently a senior executive for Spotify’s studios and partnerships division, has joined Higher Ground as svp documentaries. During her time at the audio giant, she led partnerships with J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot and Higher Ground, which ended its pact with Spotify and struck a multiyear first-look deal with Audible in June. Gilliard also served as the executive producer on podcasts like The RapCaviar PodcastSound Barrier: SylvesterDope Labs and Abolition X and, in 2017, was hired as the first head of development at Crooked Media. Outside of audio, Gilliard was a senior producer on Oprah Winfrey’s CBS primetime special interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

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Higher Ground has also tapped Nick White from Pushkin Industries, where White serve as an executive producer on projects like a biography of Paul Simon based on 30 hours of conversation between the musician, Malcolm Gladwell and Bruce Headlam. Before Pushkin, White worked at KCRW and created the documentary podcast Lost Notes.

Rounding out the new hires is Andrew Eapen, a sound engineer and composer whose work has appeared on To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Shameless and Jane the Virgin, as well as podcasts like Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen’s Renegades: Born in the U.S.A. and Dateline NBC’s The Thing About Pam.

Internally, Higher Ground has promoted Higher Ground Audio VP Mukta Mohan, who first joined the company in 2020 from Crooked Media, to the new role of head of audio content.

“We’re bolstering our incredible audio team by bringing in outside superstars and elevating our stellar internal talent,” Dan Fierman, Higher Ground’s head of audio, said. “The future of audio at Higher Ground is very bright.”