Archewell Audio has a new head of content, one podcast episode in seven months

Harry and Meghan have made another hire for their burgeoning media empire. In early July, it was announced that Rebecca Sananes had been hired to head up Archewell Audio, the arm of Harry and Meghan’s for-profit company centred around Harry and Meghan’s multi-year podcasting deal with Spotify. Sananes will be responsible for overseeing podcast content from the Sussexes, and she is due to start in the position in August. Let’s learn a little about Sananes:

She has a stacked CV

Sananes has worked in public radio and podcasting for a number of years. This includes previous work at NPR and New York Magazine/Vox Media. She also has a Master’s in Journalism from Boston University and has won numerous podcasting and reporting awards.

She will be working under Ben Browning

Ben Browning is known as a UK/US-connected movie producer hired to oversee Archewell Productions and Archewell Audio. Browning produced the Oscar-winning Promising Young Woman.

She’s worked on issues important to Harry and Meghan

From her employee profile on Vox Media: “In 2015, Rebecca received the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting HIV/AIDS Fellowship. During that time she reported on the ground in Cuba, embedded with the LGBTQIA community, and wrote about the Communist country’s relationship with the AIDS pandemic. Her work was published in the book To End AIDS and was presented at the 2016 International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa, as well as at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.” Sananes also has experience working on stories about race and socioeconomic issues.

Closing thoughts:

  • Sananes’ LinkedIn profile used to be active but is no longer available. Her Twitter account is private.
  • As UKRoyalTea pointed out on Twitter, the Sussex team decided to drop this hiring news on the Friday of the July 4th long weekend, which is notorious for when PR companies want to drop disappointing/normally scrutinized news that they don’t want to be picked up by the media.
  • If Sananes is starting work in August, when will the next podcast episode of Archewell Audio be released? A month? Two? Christmas?
  • On Sananes’s personal website is the following line: “She lives in Brooklyn with her beloved mutt, Cassius, and is proud to say that while she worked her way into the media industry, she paid her bills by hustling and waiting tables across the Northeast.” I feel like Meghan and Rebecca might be kindred spirits. The reference to hustling to work her way into the media industry is exactly what Meghan did before she got her gig on Suits. Additionally, I fully believe that Meghan was a subscriber to the culture of hustling during her acting days, as evidenced by her archived Tig and Instagram posts. Here are some articles on how toxic hustle culture is for people, especially people’s mental health:

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4 thoughts on “Archewell Audio has a new head of content, one podcast episode in seven months

  1. Interesting post, especially when they announced Ms.Sananes’ hiring (& why?). Thank you for the Toxic Hustle Culture links — I learned something new 👩‍🎓. In your 👑 analysis of events, do you think one of the impetuses for the Montecito Move is that MM is locked in this mindset? A Hustle Culture (constantly ‘working’ the room/image, climbing the ladder, striding/needing to be #1, etc.) clashes with the BRF’s Culture (study first, public service, no ladder to climb, & Her 👑Majesty is always #1).
    Finally, do you think the numerous projects that MM&H have announced are a sign that they are still in this Hustle Mindset? Rather than concentrate on a few projects & ensure their success, their focus is scattered by new additions (of course, success is subjective, & they may think this approach works.)
    As always, thank you for your thoughtful inspection. 🧐💐

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah I’m with the prior comment, doesn’t really seem like news that I would bury. This is a really great hire for them. Only reasons I can think of are a) not wanting to admit they needed help or b) not wanting to draw attention to their deal they haven’t done anything with. Probably a mix of both.

    Someone suggested that this is Spotify being like “Ok guys, we’ve given you 6 months to produce something and you haven’t so now you need to hire someone to fix this mess” and I think that makes the most sense.

    I guess since you now have your own podcast (which is wonderful and I’m looking forward to the next installment!) I’ll ask if you have any insight into why they haven’t produced anything? What issues do you think might have come up for them that have led to radio silence for so long? I mean, you’ve produced two, hour and a half, wide-ranging, very entertaining interviews and you aren’t world famous and don’t have a multi-million dollar deal. Has having your own podcast make you more or less sympathetic to their plight?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello, it has taken me 2 weeks and an Olympics hangover to finally read this and comment it. I read the 3 articles about hustling and what I concluded after that is like one of those articles said, this is a way to try to disguise a workaholic behaviour. Or to put it in other words, I will quote / paraphrase a 90s movie named “Only You” (with Robert Downey Jr., Marissa Tomei) where an italian character told another character (none were the leads) that “in America, you live to work, you do nothing else. But in Italy, we work to live”. It was toxic then and it is toxic now, and a disease / sickness of sorts, it impacts your wellbeing more than people think. Hopefully this lady and others in H and M conglomerate have forgone this type of behaviour, I guess only time will tell. But going back to our main persons of interest here, which are H and M, if M really subscribed to this type of behaviour in some capacity, and like you said her old Instagram and Tig archives point in that direction, this matches the reports by UK media (alledgedly with courtiers as the sources) claiming that M would e-mail her British aides as early as 5:00 a.m., among other behaviour that under UK standards was considered pushy. Even now, and in the last year and a half, maybe more, M fans and groups of casual commentators in the US have either disregarded these reports about her e-mail habits or justified them by saying that if this should be considered weird / unusual / overbearing then they would have been perceived in a worst light, had they been in M’s place. What I’m trying to say is, for many US people this was not a reason for complaint and the British aides were just looking something to complaint about M, mostly for racial motives. But even admiting there were racial undertones in several UK stories about M, this 5:00 a.m. e-mail story might have been a real thing and an evidence of the clash between her US work culture of hustling / workaholic and the UK (and other countries) culture of working to live, not living to work.

      As for the teory expressed here and in other places about Spotify preasuring H and M to hire someone who can fix their lack of produced content under the terms of their business deal, I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the case, but we are in the middle of August and nothing has been anounced or released. Who knows if something will happen in the next 2 weeks. Now, this and other hirings might be an opportunity to see if H anf M really know who to hire for their business and how to manage it, or if at the end these new hires have to drop the towel and resign. Either way, these new hires will show us to what degree it is possible to have a work relationship with H and M.

      Liked by 1 person

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