Faces To Watch 2023: Meet the judges

Get to know the expert panel behind this year's list

PodPod’s Faces To Watch scheme is all about celebrating the best and brightest of the industry’s up-and-coming talent, but with so many accomplished professionals in the field, whittling the nominees for this year’s cohort down to the final 30 winners was far from an easy task.

This was the challenge given to our jury of industry expert judges, who helped select our finalists from more than 100 submissions. Nominees were scored on the impact they’ve made on their organisations and the industry as a whole, their future potential as an industry leader, and the uniqueness of their approach to the craft and business of podcasting.

Our judging panel includes leading figures from across the sector, including top advertising executives, heads of production firms, trade body representatives, and more.

Adam Shepherd, editor, PodPod

After starting his career in enterprise IT journalism, Adam Shepherd made the jump to the world of podcasting, tackling the thorny issues facing the sector’s growth as a serious industry. As editor of PodPod, Adam is in charge of managing PodPod’s editorial content strategy. He also writes a regular column for the site - On Air with Adam Shepherd - and is a frequent voice on the PodPod podcast. As a podcaster himself, he is passionate about solving the challenges they have to deal with, including how to get the perfect acoustic setup, where to advertise your podcast, and what makes a successful show. 

Sandy Warr, head of podcasting and senior lecturer, City University

Sandy Warr is head of podcasting at City, University of London and has been a lead audio tutor there for 25 years. A multi-award-winning broadcaster, she has won Sony and New York Gold medals for presenting, political reporting and sports commentary. She is also a fellow of the Radio Academy and a holder of the Gold award for services to commercial radio news, as well as a passionate supporter of AFC Wimbledon and a part-time tour guide.

Catherine Cribbin, head of partnerships, IAB UK

Having started at IAB UK in 2015, Catherine Cribbin has a wealth of experience with IAB members and was appointed head of partnerships in 2022. In this role she is responsible for shaping the IAB’s member-facing strategy, working across the digital advertising body’s membership base to ensure all partnership needs are met. She leads the IAB’s digital audio group and is instrumental in helping to organise the IAB’s annual Podcast Upfronts.

Bernard Achampong, board member, AudioUK

Bernard Achampong is an award-winning creative industry titan with more than three decades of industry experience, including 15 years at the BBC. During this time, Bernard launched new audience engagement and digital strategies for BBC News and World Service, and was part of the founding team to launch BBC Radio 1Xtra. He is also the co-founder of audio production company Unedited, with major clients including Audible, Ford, Spotify and Havas London. Bernard’s creativity and aptitude has been recognised with over 30 industry awards and nominations, including eight Radio Academy Awards.

Nicola Merrifield, premium content editor, Campaign

Nicola Merrifield is premium content editor at Campaign, the leading industry title for advertising, marketing and media professionals. She oversees in-depth industry analyses, focusing on topics ranging from workplace issues and financial performance to brand sector trends, as well as regular new-business updates provided by Campaign's Advertising Intelligence data tool.

Lindsay Riley, freelance producer, ReThink Audio

Lindsay Riley is a freelance podcast producer with a solid foundation in journalism. Her extensive portfolio of work features podcasts produced for notable media outlets and organisations such as Tortoise Media, the OCCRP, Haymarket, Anna Freud Centre, and the Association of Commonwealth Universities. Her expertise also extends to working on the BBC's current affairs programme, Newsnight. And finally, she provides professional training on podcast production and presentation for aspiring podcasters.

Matt Deegan, co-founder, Folder Media

Matt Deegan started his career at the Radio Academy, before bidding for FM and digital licences for GWR and GCap (now Global). He went on to co-found audio production firm Folder Media and children’s media brand Fun Kids, spanning a national DAB radio station, podcast network, website and YouTube channels. He co-founded Podcast Awards Ltd which run the British, Irish and Australian Podcast Awards, before selling it to Haymarket in 2022, and also writes a weekly newsletter on audio as well as hosting The Media Podcast.

Shelina Janmohamed, director for consumer equality, Ogilvy

Shelina Janmohamed is the Director for Consumer Equality at Ogilvy Consulting, a new framework for the relationship between ethnicity, consumer experience and commercial growth. She believes that the next paradigm shift for the advertising world is to introduce the discipline of 'consumer equality' across its commercial functions for business success and to tackle societal inequalities. She is also Ogilvy's vice president of Islamic marketing and is the host of the news and current affairs podcast The Shelina Show, as well as a non-fiction and children's author and a newspaper columnist.