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The Ambies: ‘Slow Burn: Becoming Justice Thomas’ and ‘Weight For It’ Win Top Podcast Honors

“You all look so gorgeous which is why you excel in a medium where no one can see you,” Trixie Mattel quipped at the start of Tuesday night’s Ambie Awards inside of the JW Marriott LA Live in Los Angeles. The winner of season three of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars served as the host of The Podcast Academy’s fourth annual Awards for Excellence in Audio sponsored by Wondery, The Hollywood Reporter, Audible, Dolby, Campside Media,The Podcast Show, Tenderfoot TV, Outfront, Castbox, Raedio, Gumball, Headgum, Good Tape, and IMDb.

The top honor of the evening went to Slow Burn: Becoming Justice Thomas, which was awarded Podcast of the Year. The show, now in its eighth season, is hosted by Slate staff writer Joel Anderson and tells the story of Clarence Thomas’s rise to power.

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Weight For It, hosted by Ronald Young Jr., was the most awarded show during the ceremony which recognized a total of 192 nominees across 27 categories. The narrative storytelling show about individual’s intrusive thoughts about their size won Best Indie Podcast, Best Indie Podcast Host/Hosts, and Best Society and Culture Podcast.

“I’m really happy about winning this award because anybody who independently produces understands that you spend so much of your time by yourself,” Young Jr. said through tears as he accepted the award for Best Indie Podcast. “You’re writing, and you’re editing, and you’re cutting tape, and you’re doing all that, and then you have to wonder, ‘is this good?’ ‘Are people even gonna like it?’ But I guess I don’t have to wonder anymore.”

Addition highlights of the night included Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ series of conversations with supremely accomplished older women, Wiser Than Me, win Best Interview Podcast; Pop culture podcaster Ira Madison III, host of Keep It!, receiving the Impact Award, which recognizes an individual or podcast that has made a significant positive effect on its listeners; And author Malcolm Gladwell, host and creator of Revisionist History, receiving the Governors Award, which recognizes a podcast or individual for the influence they’ve had on the industry.

“I started this thinking I was just going to do a one-off or a couple of shows and that was it, and here I am nine years later,” Gladwell said in a videotaped acceptance speech. “We’ve done so many things that I’m enormously proud of, from our series on the firebombing of Tokyo that turned into a book, The Bomber Mafia, to our big series on gun violence last year, to our big rewrite of The Little Mermaid, which was intended to get Disney to wake up to what was wrong with one of its classics, to everything from why I hate McDonald’s french fries, to why student councils should be elected by Lottery, and a million things in between. It’s been an incredible ride, not to mention way too many shows on the Ivy league, but that’s the great thing about podcasts. You get to indulge your personal idiosyncrasies, and I’ve done that.”

See below for the full list of the 2024 winners and nominees:

Podcast of The Year

50 Years of Hip-Hop

Can You Dig It?: A Hip-Hop Origin Story with Chuck D

Embedded: Taking Cover

Exposed: Cover-Up at Columbia University

Ghost Story

Next Year In Moscow

Questlove Supreme

Post Reports: The Empty Grave of Comrade Bishop

Slow Burn: Becoming Justice Thomas (WINNER)

The Very Worst Thing that Could Possibly Happen

Best Business Podcast

Access & Opportunity

Behind the Money

Decoder with Nilay Patel

Design Nerds Anonymous

Spellcaster: The Fall of Sam Bankman-Fried (WINNER)

The Closer

Trustonomy

Best Comedy Podcast

Bad Dates

Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend

How Did This Get Made? (WINNER)

Let’s Make A Rom-Com

Lovett or Leave It

The Big Flop

Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!

Best DIY Podcast

Beans Without Boundaries

Beyond 6 Seconds

Black Is America

Culture Kids Podcast

Gooned

Latinx Can Podcast

STITCH PLEASE (WINNER)

Best Documentary Podcast

Borrowed and Banned

Embedded: Taking Cover

Fever: The Hunt for Covid’s Origin

Free From Desire: Asexual in the City of Love

Ghost Story (WINNER)

King Slime: The Prosecution of Young Thug and YSL

Slow Burn: Becoming Justice Thomas

Best Entertainment Podcast (Sponsored by The Hollywood Reporter)

50 Years of Hip-Hop (WINNER)

Creative Control

Films to Be Buried With with Brett Goldstein

HBO’s The Last of Us Podcast

Movies vs. Capitalism

MUBI Podcast

Women of Marvel

Best Fiction Podcast

Midnight Burger

People Who Knew Me

Possession

PREVIA: A Tech Heist (WINNER)

Supreme: The Battle for Roe

The Foxes of Hydesville

The Very Worst Thing that Could Possibly Happen

Best History Podcast

Hindsight

History’s Secret Heroes

Spy Valley: An Engineer’s Nuclear Betrayal

The Africas vs. America

This is History: A Dynasty to Die For

Unreformed: The Story of the Alabama Industrial School for Negro Children (WINNER)

Untextbooked

Best Indie Podcast (Sponsored by Tenderfoot TV)

Abandoned: The All-American Ruins Podcast

BEEF with Bridget Todd

Dragoncast

Expectant

Surfing Corporate

The Nocturnists

Weight For It (WINNER)

Best Indie Podcast Host or Hosts

Ali Block, MD –  The Nocturnists

Ami Thakkar – Tuckered Out with Ami Thakkar

Emma Lehman – Gooned

Jill Jonassen – The Cost of Extremism

Molly Miller – Night Raid

Ronald Young Jr. – Weight For It (WINNER)

Sequoia Holmes – Black People Love Paramore

Best Interview Podcast

Alexi Lalas’ State of the Union Podcast

Apple News In Conversation

On Purpose with Jay Shetty

Questlove Supreme

The Skinny Confidential

Wiser Than Me with Julia Louis-Dreyfus (WINNER)

Your Mama’s Kitchen

Best Knowledge, Science or Tech Podcast

Big Deep – An Ocean Podcast

Darknet Diaries (WINNER)

Moral Repair: A Black Exploration of Tech

To the Best of Our Knowledge: Luminous

Unexplainable

Voices from DARPA

Without

Best News Podcast

Odd Lots: Pot Lots

Queer News

Start Here

The Decibel

Today, Explained (WINNER)

Tug of War: Israel-Hamas War

Up First

Best Original Score and Music Supervision

Calm it Down – Chad Lawson

Can You Dig It?: A Hip-Hop Origin Story with Chuck D – Bryan Master

Louder Than A Riot – Suzi Analogue, Kassa Overall, and Ramtin Arablouei

Next Year In Moscow

Othello – Lindsay Jones (WINNER)

The Cat In The Hat Cast – Jack Mitchell

The Very Worst Thing that Could Possibly Happen – Alex Kemp

Best Performance in Audio Fiction

Hidden Signal: Evergreen – Lana Condor

Scrooge: A Christmas Carol – Sean Astin, John Rhys-Davies, Lucy Punch, Ben Barnes, Juliet Mills, Ryan O’Quinn, Bethany Joy Lenz, Clive Standen, Maxwell Caulfield

Supreme: The Battle for Roe – Maya Hawke, William H. Macy, Abigail Breslin, et al.

The Foxes of Hydesville – Carey Mulligan

The Salvation – Rose Leslie, Toby Jones, Robert Bathurst, et al.

The Very Worst Thing that Could Possibly Happen – Antonia Desplat, Isaac Gonzalez Rossi Yvette Lu, et al.

Yes We Cannabis – Sam Richardson, Method Man, Langston Kerman, Punkie Johnson, Richard Kind, Laci Mosley, Anjelah Johnson-Reyes, Heidi Gardner, Tichina Arnold, Tim Meadows, Rachel Dratch, Chris Parnell (WINNER)

Best Personal Growth / Spirituality Podcast

Dear Alana, (WINNER)

How to Be a Better Human

Meditative Story

Moral Repair: A Black Exploration of Tech

Ritually

Second Sunday

SOL Affirmations with Felicia & Karega

Best Podcast for Kids

African Folktales with Miss Jo Jo

Disney Frozen: Forces of Nature

Greeking Out

Mina & Lucy’s Guide to Slaying Dracula

Sesame Street – Foley & Friends Season 3

The Arthur Podcast

The Cat In The Hat Cast (WINNER)

Best Podcast Host or Hosts

Anderson Cooper – All There Is with Anderson Cooper

David Rind – Tug of War: Israel-Hamas War

Isaac-Davy Aronson & Rachel Maddow – Rachel Maddow Presents: Déjà News

Kerry Godliman – Stolen Hearts

Martine Powers – Post Reports: The Empty Grave of Comrade Bishop (WINNER)

Malcolm Gladwell – Revisionist History

Rose Reid & Nando Vila – Shoot the Messenger: Espionage, Murder & Pegasus Spyware

Best Politics or Opinion Podcast

Bad Watchdog

National Emergency

Next Year In Moscow

Post Reports

The NPR Politics Podcast (WINNER)

Those Who Can’t Teach Anymore

We Don’t Talk About Leonard

Best Production and Sound Design (Dolby)

Chameleon: Dr. Dante – Garrett Tiedemann

Hidden Signal: Evergreen – Geoffrey Cannock, Jose Varon, The Audio Hive, Neely Oeftering, Sarah Ma, David Tatasciore, Ben Milchev

Long Shadow

People Who Knew Me – Martin Schulz

The Very Worst Thing that Could Possibly Happen – Alex Kemp and Beau Milkis

Throughline (WINNER)

Undertow: The Sisters

Best Reporting

Dear Alana, – Simon Kent Fung

Imperfect Paradise: People vs. Karen

Murder In Boston: The Untold Story of the Charles and Carol Stuart Shooting – Adrian Walker

Operation: Tradebom

Shoot the Messenger: Espionage, Murder & Pegasus Spyware

The 13th Step – Lauren Chooljian (WINNER)

The Blog Era

Best Scriptwriting, Fiction

Ad Lucem – Troian Bellisario, Josh Close (WINNER)

Expectant – Pippa Johnstone

Hidden Signal: Evergreen – Chloe Stearns, John Wynn

Pariah – Davy Gardner

The Foxes of Hydesville – Shawn Christensen

Trust Fall – Claire Friedman

Zoey’s Mythical Menagerie – Leigh Joel Scott

Best Scriptwriting, Nonfiction

Classy with Jonathan Menjivar – Jonathan Menjivar

Code Switch – B.A Parker (WINNER)

Dear Alana, – Simon Kent Fung, Laurie Polisky, Donald Albright

Exposed: Cover-Up at Columbia University – Laura Beil

Foundering: The John McAfee Story

The Banksy Story – James Peak

Who Killed JFK? – David Hoffman

Best Society and Culture Podcast

Can You Dig It?: A Hip-Hop Origin Story with Chuck D

Dear Alana,

Dynamite Doug

Exposed: Cover-Up at Columbia University

ROS Presents: Roughhousing

The Story Exchange

Weight For It (WINNER)

Best Sports Podcast

All the Smoke

Four Years of Heat

Heart of the Game

New Heights with Jason and Travis Kelce (WINNER)

Reclaimed: The Forgotten League

The Lead

The Playcallers

Best True Crime Podcast

Disappeared: The Bradley Sisters

Heinous – An Asian True Crime Podcast

Smoke Screen: Just Say You’re Sorry

The Girl in the Blue Mustang

The Girlfriends (WINNER)

The Vanishing Point

Who Killed JFK?

Best Wellness or Relationships Podcast

Big Lash Energy

Chasing Life with Dr. Sanjay Gupta

Embodied (WINNER)

It Can’t Just Be Me

Jillian on Love

Life Kit

Love Letters

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