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Kobi Omenaka: Host and producer at Stripped Media

Kobi Omenaka podcast producer


Kobi Omenaka: Host and producer at Stripped Media

What does it mean to produce a podcast? The Pod Bible gang wanted to bring podcast producers out from their editing bays and research caves to tell you why they’re passionate about creating podcasts. Today, we’re meeting Kobi Omenaka, to find out what it takes to produce award-winning, forward-thinking pop culture podcasts for the Stripped Media network

So, tell us the origins of Stripped Media – how did it all begin?

I was hosting on our aftershow / TV Companion Podcast for HBO’s The Wire, called The Wire Stripped with my co-host Dave Corkery (The Cinemile) and esteemed editor Tom Whalley (aka “T-Bone” from Huey Morgan’s BBC 6 Music Show, Kermode on Film the list is endless!). We all worked really hard on The Wire Stripped as we didn’t want it to be the standard format for these shows where two guys recap each episode of a show scene by scene from a cupboard.

We hustled hard to get key actors and experts to show who could add the kind of depth and flavour that would make our show stand out. It really worked and meant that we got lots of amazing “wait how did you put this together?” feedback! We thought that we could apply this to other shows and set up Stripped Media to do just that. Not long after we were commissioned by Spotify to produce His Darker Materials a companion podcast to the BBC/HBO His Dark Materials TV show.

We also wanted to build out a network and help other pop culture podcasts grow so invited ace shows like Song By Song and 90 Minutes or Less Film Fest to join us.

What do you consider when taking on a new podcast?

We’re positioned as “Forward Thinking Pop Culture Podcasts” so we’re championing Diversity and Inclusion from the creators of the shows that we bring into the network and those that we produce ourselves. Most of the time it’s an easy choice, such as being invited to work on Equal Too a podcast from Proctor and Gamble and HTYT, the production team behind Netflix Documentary Rising Phoenix that champions disability rights alongside and beyond the Paralympics.

Do you like to have constant input throughout the process of producing a podcast, or do you prefer your role to be siloed?

It depends on the show completely. I work closely with Twiggy to produce her show Tea With Twiggy and my co-host Helen Sadler on one of the podcasts I host Flixwatcher. A lot of the time I just connect the team, provide input at ideation and comment on first drafts of show. The shows that we bring fully formed onto the network don’t need me sticking my oar in!

What is the most valuable lesson you have learned from podcasting?

Be excellent to everyone and work with excellent passionate people. It makes what you do way easier and the final project so much better as a result. The team that we put together for Equal Too for example was just astonishing. It was important here that the team included a high proportion of people with disabilities to ensure the stories were told properly and insightfully. I’m super proud of what we accomplished with that show. It’s a gazillion times better because of the people we worked with! We’re still working with the Equal Too team where we can with, and we’re not waiting for podcasts relaying stories about disabled peopled to do so.

What is something you haven’t managed to do yet, but you would really like to work on?

I’d really love to work with HBO, Netflix, BBC, Amazon Prime or one of these amazing TV networks to produce the official companion to one of their shows. We’ve had discussions with a few of them but nothing has materialised – yet…

We do try to give people a ‘point of entry’ to help them discover new things. If readers haven’t managed to catch any Stripped Media shows yet, would you say there is one episode or show they should start absolutely with?

Sure! I’m going to be cheeky and mention three! A new show to Stripped Media is First Film Club where Film Critic Hanna Flint speaks to actors, producers and directors about their first feature films. Another new Stripped Media Podcast is The Simple Politics Podcast based on the @SimplePolitics Instagram account with nearly 800, 000 followers. Finally an episode of Flixwatcher, one of the oldest Stripped Media Podcasts, to listen to would be Episode 192 “Bugsy Malone” as we were joined by Adam Buxton and Joe Cornish, aka podcasting GOATs Adam and Joe.

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