Bert Weiss starts podcast company Pionaire with Kim Zolciak as his big first client

Bert Weiss has started a podcasting company that includes reality star Kim Zolciak. RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com/BRAVO
Bert Weiss has started a podcasting company that includes reality star Kim Zolciak. RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com/BRAVO

Credit: RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com/BRAVO

Credit: RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com/BRAVO

Radio host Bert Weiss has co-created a new podcast company with Bravo reality star Kim Zolciak as one of his first clients.

Zolciak, who stars on the long-time reality show “Don’t Be Tardy,” has been a friend of the Bert Show, Weiss’ syndicated morning show, for many years. She started a podcast “House of Kim” in 2018 and will have a “reimagined look and listener experience” with the new company Pionaire, according to the press release.

“I’m at a point in my career it’s actually more fulfilling to help others reach new levels than maintaining my own show,” Weiss said in an interview Wednesday.

Weiss, a Georgia Radio Hall of Fame inductee who became adept at talent acquisition and development over his two decades on his morning show, is working with Atlanta marketing guru Chris Tuff, author of “The Millennial Whisperer.” The Bert Show is based out of Q99.7 studios in Atlanta but is heard on 25 stations nationwide.

“Their expertise is second to none. You get a feeling working with them that the sky is the limit, and we are fired up!” Zolciak said.

Weiss’ daily radio show is also a podcast, which generates 3.5 million downloads a month.

“Right now, the podcast landscape is extremely crowded,” Weiss said, “so it’s critical to develop talent in a way that can cut through the noise. Working with someone like Kim, you never know what she’s going to say next, but you do know it’s going be 100% honest.”

He said Zolciak and her husband Kroy Biermann have so much content and so many stories any given week, Weiss just wants to help them focus the show more. Weiss has built a keen sense on what is compelling content and what needs to be edited out. He is also good at teasing future content to keep listeners engaged. And he can hone in on a particular audience and super-serve them.

Weiss’s other initial client is his Bert Show colleague Moe Mitchell, a stand-up comic who has his own podcast “In the Moement.”

Mitchell joined Weiss’ show in 2018 with no radio experience but Weiss believes “the ceiling on his talent is crazy.”

The cost of entry into podcasts is minimal, which is both good and bad. “The great thing about podcasting is anyone can do it tomorrow,” Weiss said. “The bad thing about podcasting is anyone can do it tomorrow.”

Many podcast companies launch celebrity podcasts, just thinking the big name will propel them to big revenue and big audiences. Some rivals also focus more on marketing a podcast than ensuring the podcast is listenable, he said.

“You can bring listeners to the table with a name,” Weiss said. “They won’t stick around without engaging content.”

He said Tuff is a great partner who is well connected in social media. “I can’t even begin to understand everything that he has in his head,” he said.

Atlanta is home to other podcast companies such as the iHeart Podcast Network (”Stuff You Should Know”) and Tenderfoot TV (”Up and Vanished,” “Atlanta Monster”).

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