Today Vox Media announced promotions to SVP for Ray Chao and Nishat Kurwa. As SVP and general manager of audio and digital video, Chao is expanding his scope to lead Vox Media’s audio and digital video businesses. As SVP and executive producer of audio, Kurwa will continue to oversee programming and new show development for the Vox Media Podcast Network. Both promotions are effective immediately.
“Ray and Nishat have played a key role in growing the Vox Media Podcast Network into one of the largest podcast publishers,” says Vox Media Studios president Marty Moe. “I couldn’t be more excited to announce their new roles, and look forward to working with them as we continue to produce unrivaled programming with some of the best voices in the business.”
Chao joined Vox Media as general manager of audio in 2021 to lead the podcast business for the company. In his tenure so far, he’s helped establish the Vox Media Podcast Network as the top home for high-quality shows, hosts, and creators. He led the acquisitions of Criminal Productions (home to Criminal, one of the largest podcasts in the world) and Cafe Studios (home to Preet Bharara, former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York), and new partnerships with Gastropod, Waveform: The MKBHD Podcast, Longform, and The Pitch. Chao also expanded existing Vox Media podcast franchises into video, subscriptions, and terrestrial radio, and negotiated talent deals for shows hosted by Kara Swisher, Noel King, Sam Sanders, and Ariel Helwani. He was recently named to The Hollywood Reporter’s inaugural list of “podcast power players” and to Forbes’s annual list of “30 Under 30,” and serves on the board of directors of Science Friday. Prior to joining Vox Media, he led corporate strategy at New York Public Radio and was a management consultant at Oliver Wyman.
Kurwa joined Vox Media in 2017 as the Vox Media Podcast Network’s first executive producer to oversee programming strategy, production operations, and new show development. As the network’s executive producer, she’s collaborated with the company’s editorial brands to develop a slate that includes acclaimed podcasts like daily news show Today, Explained and culture podcast Into It, and has led the development and production of shows for partners including Apple, Spotify, and Audible. She’s also launched and helped grow franchises around award-winning podcasts like tech and business show Pivot, and Land of the Giants, VMPN’s narrative series about the five major technology giants, which was adapted into a CNN+ and Vice TV series earlier this year. Named to The Hollywood Reporter’s inaugural list of “podcast power players,” she previously led the digital publishing team at American Public Media’s Marketplace and spent more than a decade as Senior Producer and News Director at the Peabody Award-winning independent production company Youth Radio.