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Volume 27 No. 28
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Ravens Launching Fourth In-House Podcast "Black In The NFL"

The Ravens’ in-house media arm will launch its fourth podcast today, “Black in the NFL,” an exploration of the experiences of Black players in the league. Created by Ravens staff writer Clifton Brown, the first episode includes interviews with Ravens backup QB Robert Griffin III, former NFLer and Green Beret Nate Boyer and civil rights activist Dr. Harry Edwards. It is the team’s first podcast aimed at a general-interest audience after the team launched three Ravens-focused podcasts -- “The Lounge,” “What Happened to that Guy?” and “Man of the Crowd” in the last five years. “I want this to be a podcast that obviously connects with Ravens fans, but I also want it to be a podcast that connects with all sports fans, even all people -- even people who don’t think initially they want to listen to it,” said Brown, who spent 19 years at the N.Y. Times’ sports desk and also had stints with the Sporting News and Indianapolis Star.

SEEKING A SPONSOR: The Ravens will seek a title sponsor for the podcast, but will consider other monetization models, said Editorial Dir Ryan Mink. Audiences range widely, but Mink said the team considers clearing 10,000 downloads a successful production. Mink said longer-form podcasts are useful in developing deep connections with fans in ways that social media or quick news articles might not. “It’s not like it’s getting huge numbers, but it’s a really loyal listening base, and we get a lot of return listeners,” Mink said, adding “Black in the NFL” is not designed with a financial return in mind. “We're doing this because it's the right thing to do for the players, for our city, and for America,” Mink said. Brown developed the idea before the pandemic and this spring’s national Black Lives Matter protests, he said. Most episodes will have at least one Ravens player included in the interviews. Future topics will include voter suppression, the National Anthem kneeling protest against police brutality, the specific experiences of black quarterbacks and the challenges of black front-office executives and coaches. Blue Wire is producing the podcast, which is distributed through most major platforms.