James Rowe

Head of talkSPORT Fan Network, News UK

Having started as a radio planner at Bauer before moving across to News UK as a business development manager, James Rowe has worked in the audio space for more than five years now. Around 18 months ago he made the move into the podcast world and has since revolutionised the News UK podcast offering, both creatively and commercially. Rowe has worked on the development of new podcasts including The Men’s Room from talkSPORT, which is focused on discussing men’s issues, and Wine Times from The Times, a wine podcast from The Sunday Times Wine Club.

In May 2022, Rowe created and pitched the talkSPORT Fan Network, developedwith News UK’s director of digital Russell Pedrick and commercial director Dave Wilcox (news broadcasting commercial director), before presenting it to CFO Emma Humphreys. With the support of the business, James embarked on creating a brand-new podcast proposition from talkSPORT that brought together fans, joining creators and helping to develop fan-led content like never before. The judges called it “a brilliant idea executed at speed, and with room to develop further and bring in even more of the audience.”

As the head of talkSPORT Fan Network, Rowe has already built a network of podcasts covering over a third of all English Football Clubs across the Premier League, Championship, League 1 and League 2. He has managed, in just eight months, to create a network that supports podcast creators and makes money. Having already recruited the Misery Hunters podcast from the Scottish Premier League team St. Mirren, he is already looking at new ways to expand the network’s offering. 

Nominated by: Russell Pedrick, director of digital, News UK