– Limited 8 Episodic Series Hosted by Golden Globe Award Winning Actor Kyle MacLachlan and Investigative Journalist Joshua Davis, Produced by Academy Award Winning Patrick Wachsberger
– Picture Perfect Federation, Epic Magazine and Full Picture Join Forces to Tell Stranger Than Fiction Story of Pablo Escobar’s Purported Drug Deal with a North Carolina Coastal Fishing Village
– Production Adds to PodcastOne’s Library of Original IP Available for Film and Television Development
– Varnamtown is the 23rd Program Added to the PodcastOne Network in FY 2024
LOS ANGELES, CA –
Hosted by Golden Globe Award winning actor Kyle MacLachlan (Sex and the City, Twin Peaks) and investigative journalist Joshua Davis, Varnamtown tells the little known story of a small fishing village in North Carolina that reputedly did a deal with drug kingpin Pablo Escobar. In exchange for allowing Escobar’s drug motherships to dock and his airplanes to land, the town would become rich. For two years, MacLachlan and Davis investigated the tale, journeying to Varnamtown to knock on doors and find out what really happens when a firehose of money and cocaine is turned on a small, tight knit community.
“When Kyle first told me about this story, I thought he was joking,” said Davis. “How in the hell did Pablo Escobar do a deal with an entire town? I told him immediately that we needed to find out.”
“From Twin Peaks to Wisteria Lane and beyond, I’ve always been drawn to mysterious places that are brimming with quirky characters,” said MacLachlan. “As soon as I heard this small town story, I knew there was something much bigger happening here. My years of experience performing in dark and twisted tales has taught me that raw human nature is sometimes the scariest and most interesting story of all.”
“The story of Varnamtown is wild and endlessly surprising. Kyle and Josh have meticulously crafted an eight part series that takes listeners inside one of the strangest untold stories in American history. From REO Speedwagon to Ronald Reagan, the cast of characters in this story makes it an irresistible podcast,” said Kit Gray, President and Co-Founder of PodcastOne.
Varnamtown is the first podcast series resulting from a previously announced development deal between PodcastOne and Picture Perfect Federation (“PPF”). PPF is a joint venture formed by entertainment industry leader and Academy Award Winning Patrick Wachsberger’s Picture Perfect Entertainment and Pascal Breton and Lionel Uzan of studio Federation Studios and led in the US by Patrick Wachsberger and Ashley Stern, President of Federation Entertainment of America.
Epic Magazine was founded by investigative journalists Joshua Davis and Joshuah Bearman. The publication uncovers amazing true stories that are regularly adapted into films and TV shows, such as the Academy-Award winning film Argo and last year’s Sundance-winning film Radical.
Full Picture, a creative agency with a mission of shaping zeitgeist-defining moments and reimagining how brands engage global audiences, was founded in 1999 by Desiree Gruber, who executive produces Varnamtown with Nir Liberboim. Full Picture Productions, headed by Anne Walls, has created TV projects including Project Runway, as well as award-winning digital and podcast projects for a variety of brands and icons. Their work has won a Peabody Award, a GLAAD Media Award, and has been nominated for 58 Emmys.
PodcastOne’s full roster of top ranked podcasts includes programming across top genres such as news, comedy, true crime and society and culture, including shows such as Bad Bad Thing, True Crime All The Time Unsolved, The Prosecutors, Court Junkie, Cold Case Files, I Survived, Baby Mamas No Drama, The Adam Carolla Show, and The Schaub Show. PodcastOne shows are available through PodcastOne, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeart, Amazon and wherever podcasts are heard.
About Picture Perfect Federation
Picture Perfect Federation is a joint venture formed by entertainment industry leader Patrick Wachsberger’s Picture Perfect Entertainment and Pascal Breton and Lionel Uzan of studio Federation Studios. The entity is dedicated to the development and production of premium television series and films for the global marketplace on all platforms as well as engaging in international co-productions. The studio is poised to develop, finance, and distribute premium content across the globe with an upcoming slate including “Impossible,” written and directed by Siân Heder, the visionary behind the Oscar®-winning CODA, which Wachsberger produced; “Bad Genius,” written by Julius Onah & J.C. Lee in collaboration with Picturestart; and “Ramses” based on Christian Jacq’s series of five international bestselling books. The team of Wachsberger, who most recently served as Chairman of Lionsgate Motion Picture group and Ashley Stern, President of Federation Studios of America, represent the joint venture in Los Angeles. Where the U.S. operations have “The Department,” based on Federation’s “Le Bureau,” greenlit for Showtime with George Clooney directing in 2023. With additional divisions in Paris, Brussels, London, Rome, Madrid, Berlin, Cologne and Tel Aviv, leading international studio Federation has series in production across the globe like the hit ZDF thriller “Bad Banks,” Omri Givon’s Keshet series “The Grave,” Italian hit series “Baby” for Netflix, Hulu’s “Find Me in Paris,” France’s number one series, “Le Bureau des Légendes” for Canal +, and latest co-production of “Around the World in Eighty Days” starring David Tennant for BBC/France TV/Rai/ZDF as well as an upcoming biopic about iconic actress Bardot to name a few.
PodcastOne (Nasdaq: PODC) is a Los Angeles based podcast network founded in 2012 by Kit Gray and Norm Pattiz providing creators and advertisers with a full 360-degree solution in sales, marketing, public relations, production, and distribution delivering over 2.1 billion downloads per year with a community of 250 of the top podcasters, including Adam Carolla, Kaitlyn Bristowe, Jordan Harbinger, LadyGang, and A&E’s Cold Case Files. PodcastOne has built a distribution network reaching over 1 billion listeners a month across all of its own properties, LiveOne (Nasdaq: LVO), Spotify, Apple Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Samsung and over 150 shows exclusively available in Tesla vehicles. PodcastOne is also the parent company of LaunchpadOne, an innovative self-serve platform developed to launch, host, distribute and monetize independent user-generated podcasts. For more information, visit PodcastOne.com and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter at @podcastone.
About LiveOne, Inc.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, CA, LiveOne (Nasdaq: LVO) is an award-winning, creator-first, music, entertainment, and technology platform focused on delivering premium experiences and content worldwide through memberships and live and virtual events. The Company’s wholly-owned subsidiaries include Slacker Radio, PodcastOne (Nasdaq: PODC), PPVOne, Gramophone Media, Palm Beach Records, CPS, LiveXLive, Drumify and Splitmind. LiveOne is available on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Spotify, Samsung, Amazon Fire, Android TV, and through STIRR’s OTT applications. For more information, visit liveone.com and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube and Twitter at @liveone.
All statements other than statements of historical facts contained in this press release are “forward-looking statements,” which may often, but not always, be identified by the use of such words as “may,” “might,” “will,” “will likely result,” “would,” “should,” “estimate,” “plan,” “project,” “forecast,” “intend,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “seek,” “continue,” “target” or the negative of such terms or other similar expressions. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements, including: LiveOne’s reliance on one key customer for a substantial percentage of its revenue; LiveOne’s and PodcastOne’s ability to consummate any proposed financing, acquisition, spin-out, special dividend, merger, distribution or transaction, the timing of the consummation of any such proposed event, including the risks that a condition to the consummation of any such event would not be satisfied within the expected timeframe or at all, or that the consummation of any proposed financing, acquisition, spin-out, merger, special dividend, distribution or transaction will not occur or whether any such event will enhance shareholder value; PodcastOne’s ability to continue as a going concern; PodcastOne’s ability to attract, maintain and increase the number of its listeners; PodcastOne identifying, acquiring, securing and developing content; LiveOne’s intent to repurchase shares of its and PodcastOne’s common stock from time to time under LiveOne’s announced stock repurchase program and the timing, price, and quantity of repurchases, if any, under the program; PodcastOne’s ability to maintain compliance with certain financial and other covenants; PodcastOne successfully implementing its growth strategy, including relating to its technology platforms and applications; management’s relationships with industry stakeholders; the effects of the global Covid-19 pandemic; uncertain and unfavorable outcomes in legal proceedings; changes in economic conditions; competition; risks and uncertainties applicable to the businesses of PodcastOne’s subsidiaries; and other risks, uncertainties and factors including, but not limited to, those described in PodcastOne’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2023, filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) on June 29, 2023, Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter year ended September 30, 2023, filed with the SEC on November 20, 2023, and in PodcastOne’s other filings and submissions with the SEC. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof, and PodcastOne disclaims any obligation to update these statements, except as may be required by law. PodcastOne intends that all forward-looking statements be subject to the safe-harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.