Midlife Crisis | Crooked Media
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April 27, 2023
Midlife Crisis

In This Episode

As Viva reaches the third of its six year run, it’s having its own version of a midlife crisis and the editors have to make some tough decisions about what kind of magazine Viva needs to be to survive.






Jennifer Romolini: By the end of 1975, Viva’s de facto publisher Kathy Keaton’s normally breezy, horny monthly editor’s letters suddenly read more like pointed manifestos or defensive strikes. Here’s podcaster and journalist Natalie Robehmed reading Kathy. 


Natalie Robehmed: Whenever I admit publicly that I enjoy being a sex object. Hotline feminists greet me with hoots of hostility. 


Jennifer Romolini: It’s still the mid seventies, and Kathy’s partner Bob Guccione, is still in a highly public war with anti-porn feminists. But it’s not just Bob anymore. The anti-porn feminist movement is now coming for Kathy, too, for selling Penthouse ads, and especially for her complicity in Bob’s porn empire. 


Natalie Robehmed: Out they come, practically foaming at the mouth, these self-appointed defenders of the faith. We’re through with all that, they shout. Women no longer are, nor do they wish to be sex objects. 


Jennifer Romolini: Along with this letter is a photo of Kathy done up in a gauzy white dress, pearly lipstick, her hair in loose waves. Kathy is in her late thirties here, but the photo styling is young and kittenish, and her image matches her words. According to Kathy, she’s a sex object for men’s consumption and she loves it. 


Natalie Robehmed: Being a sex object is just another way of saying that I’m glad I’m female, glad I’m womanly. I enjoy being loved, pampered and needed. Now, why in God’s name would I want to deny myself that? 


Jennifer Romolini: Kathy’s letter is meant to be a counter attack against the rise of anti-porn feminists, but it reads more like a jumble of internalized misogyny. In it, Kathy defends putting a man’s sexual needs before your own. 


Natalie Robehmed: Sure, I’m playing a role, if you want to call it that. I’m serving him, giving him pleasure, but it gives me pleasure at the same time. 


Jennifer Romolini: And she also talks about how a good sex object should never threaten her man with her career success. 


Natalie Robehmed: She doesn’t talk about her talent or her money or her power. Instead, she behaves as if he rather than she is the center of their domestic world. 


Jennifer Romolini: Kathy’s message, much like Viva at this time, is confused as hell. Two years in and Viva is still experiencing growing pains. It’s floundering around for cohesion, trying to make all its feminist power and soft dicks blend. Sometimes it goes corny and big, like in a campy spread of nude male hairdressers, and other times it goes dull and predictable, like in its makeovers of plain women who don’t need makeovers. A women’s magazine trope if there ever was one. There’s an essay on sexism in the film industry and frank talk on body image in the same issue where somebody writes about Cher’s secrets for staying, quote, “svelte.” Essentially, Viva can’t really decide what it is. And Kathy’s at a bit of a crossroads as well. At the time of this editor’s letter, she’s about to be 37. For most people now that’s young. But back then, a 37 year old woman might as well have been 57 or 87. Remember the late sixties movie The Graduate? How Dustin Hoffman’s 21 year old character was getting hit on by the 45 year old Mrs. Robinson, the mother of his girlfriend? 


[clip of Anne Bancroft]: May I ask you a question? What do you think of me? 


[clip of Dustin Hoffman]: What do you mean? 


Jennifer Romolini: Well, Anne Bancroft, who played Mrs. Robinson, was only 35 years old in that movie, which shows you what Hollywood and even the general public thought about the sex appeal of women who were no longer in their twenties, by the way, in contrast, Hoffman was 29 in that movie, playing a 21 year old. But I digress. Now, obviously, women are sexy at all ages. But Kathy is maneuvering through dated 1970s values of women’s looks, and she can’t quite seem to face the reality of seemingly everyone telling her it’s time to leave her super young sex object years behind. Both Viva and Kathy are in the midst of an awkward identity crisis. And time’s a ticking on defining exactly who and what they both really are and want to be. [music plays] From Crooked Media and iHeartMedia, I’m Jennifer Romolini and this is Stiffed, episode six. Midlife Crisis. [music plays] Act one, Lose the Woman. 


Bob Guccione Jr: Kathy Keaton was a very, very strong woman, but she was insecure creatively. 


Jennifer Romolini: That’s Bob Guccione Jr. Bob Guccione’s senior son from his second wife. 


Bob Guccione Jr: And, you know, I don’t think she frankly had the abilities to be creatively in control. She wasn’t a very creative or a good writer, wasn’t a very particularly visual person. She wasn’t necessarily an instinctual reflexive editor. 


Jennifer Romolini: Like a lot of people we spoke to. He’s talking about all the things Kathy Keaton wasn’t. So who was she? This is a tough question. Kathy was a confusing, even mysterious figure for most of her Viva staff. She was an unconventional boss. Non-confrontational. She hid in her office a lot. Like Bob she could be absent from the day to day for weeks. She’s credited as being the publisher and editor of Viva. But if you’ve ever had this kind of there, but not really there boss, you know that a title doesn’t mean much if they don’t actually show up consistently to do the boring and necessary work of bossing. Here’s Viva Editor Val Monroe. 


Val Monroe: The only time I had any conversation with her was when I went into there, she had a little ante office and I went in for a second and I’m not sure what for. And she just looked up and she said something like, may I help you? And I just looked at her and I said, I don’t think so. And I walked out. 


Jennifer Romolini: And even when she was there, Kathy wasn’t the most professional. She was chilly and removed, but also lacked boundaries and even basic decorum. The kind of boss who inadvertently revealed personal details about herself that as an employee, you don’t really want to know. 


Pat Lynden: We were at the house one time. Valerie, Ginny, me. We went up there to have dinner with Kathy for a business meeting. 


Jennifer Romolini: That’s Viva Editor Pat Lynden. She’s talking about her colleagues, Val Monroe, who we just heard from, and Ginny Kopecki. 


Pat Lynden: Kathy said, does anybody want to smoke? And I didn’t. And I think just one of us did. And anyway, in order to do that, we had to go into their bedroom. [music plays]


Jennifer Romolini: Kathy led Pat and her colleagues down a hallway right to the entrance of the Guccione’s bedroom. 


Pat Lynden: There was a beaded curtain, I think it was beaded. And that’s you went through that in order to get to the bedroom. And that’s how we got to the bedroom. We walked through a beaded curtain. They don’t even have a door? On their bedroom?


Jennifer Romolini: For all its opulence. The Guccione homestead lacked a number of normal house conventions, and this was something that could be a bit freaky to the relatively traditional female editors who, if you recall, were forced to spend a lot of time there since Bob mostly worked out of his home. 


Pat Lynden: And so in in the bedroom, was, was an enormous bed. And then on a two sawhorses is a door. And on the door is a very, very complicated puzzle. You know, those 1,500 word jigsaw puzzle that Kathy did, you know she was alone a lot, I think. And so she would sit in her bedroom and do this jigsaw puzzle. 


Jennifer Romolini: If Kathy was alone a lot in her own house, it wasn’t because Bob wasn’t there. Remember, he rarely left the house. It was because he was busy on another floor of their giant residence, namely the floor where Bob kept his photo studio, a floor which contained extra bedrooms, a floor where there were usually at least one or two Penthouse pets staying over. It was a space Rolling Stone magazine once described as, quote, “a dorm like arrangement where pets were kept on a short leash and forbidden to bring male guests into their bedrooms.” I mean, fucking yikes. Here’s another excerpt from Kathy Keaton’s editor’s letter. 


Natalie Robehmed: Women enjoy the need to be appealing, seductive. A clever sex object can be extremely aggressive, but so softly feminine in her approach that she seems unobtrusive. 


Jennifer Romolini: So Kathy is publicly talking about how much she loves being objectified and keeping its sexy core with Bob. But at home, things seem different. 


Pat Lynden: She wanted people to think that she had this fabulous sex life because she was married to Bob Guccione, and I couldn’t believe it. And I didn’t. And I don’t. We all agreed about that, that there’s a lot of talk and there’s some magazines, but sex is not something that is is part of their life. And he didn’t seem like a sexy guy and the house didn’t seem like a sexy place. 


Jennifer Romolini: And maybe this puzzles at home floor away from a Penthouse pets dorm life, suited Kathy fine. We’ll never know. But what we do know is it wasn’t exactly the life Kathy Keaton had originally imagined for herself. Growing up as a kid in South Africa, Kathy had not aspired to be an exotic dancer, nor a porn publisher, nor a sexy Manhattan hostess, nor anything like any of the roles she’d played up until this point. 


[clip of Kathy Keaton]: I wanted to be a scientist and given an opportunity I would have become a biologist. But the little girls didn’t get to do things like that [laughs] in South Africa in those days or in England or in America, for that matter. 


Jennifer Romolini: That’s Kathy being interviewed on Arlene Herson’s cable access show in the eighties. By her own account, Kathy had always been bookish and even academic. But as a lower class girl born in the late thirties, the world wasn’t so welcoming to her academic curiosity, nor her smarts. So instead, like many ambitious women of her time. Of all times, Kathy used her looks and old timey feminine wiles to get ahead. By the time Viva’s published in 1973. She’s got all the makings of a seventies bombshell, the slinky clothes, the blond waves. But look at any footage of her. And you see that under the sex kitten veneer, she’s mostly awkward. She seems like a nerd at heart. Here’s editor Robin. 


Robin Wolaner: You know, she dressed like the ex-stripper that she was. But as is true with many people I’ve met in the entertainment field shyness can sometimes be there. They’re comfortable in character, but they’re not personally comfortable. 


Jennifer Romolini: Here’s Val Monroe again. 


Val Monroe: I saw that as as if she were a character. You know what I mean? Like some kind of character in a play. 


Jennifer Romolini: Kathy may be in character, but her awkwardness is apparent no matter what her costume. And this is something Bob, her partner, the founder of Penthouse, is not shy about letting her know. Here’s Kathy with Arlene Herson again. 


[clip of Arlene Herson]: Why didn’t he photograph you for the magazine? 


[clip of Kathy Keaton]: Well he always told me I was the wrong type. 


[clip of Arlene Herson]: Hmm. 


[clip of Kathy Keaton]: Which annoyed me. I wasn’t good looking enough. 


[clip of Arlene Herson]: Oh. How did you feel about that? 


[clip of Kathy Keaton]: I was furious. [laughs] How would you feel about that? 


Jennifer Romolini: Whether it’s because she fears Bob’s rejection or she’s genuinely into looking over-the-top sexy. Kathy mostly leads with her bombshell persona, not her brains. Kathy was bold and independent and progressive in so many ways. For example, she and Bob didn’t marry for decades. And from accounts from friends who spoke to us off the record, Kathy didn’t want kids. By many, many accounts, Bob and Kathy also had an open relationship. Though we can’t be sure whose choice that was or if that choice went both ways. Here’s Kathy’s letter again. 


Natalie Robehmed: Being a sex object has nothing to do with promiscuity. In fact, being a successful sex object often means being happily faithful to just one man. 


Jennifer Romolini: See, even if Kathy had independent sexual or professional aspirations, her attention was mainly in one place. 


Robin Wolaner: She was really, you know, very focused on Bob. I don’t think she spent a lot of time thinking about what it was like to be a boss. 


Jennifer Romolini: But this the fixation on staying in the male gaze, needing to be seen and validated by men, even if it’s just one man in order to feel valuable, it’s almost always a doomed enterprise. A damned if you do, damned if you don’t, patriarchal trap too many women are stuck in even today. And for Kathy, at least the need to appear sexy to men, and especially Bob, and especially as she got older, may have grown bigger than the need to do her job well at Viva. 


Natalie Robehmed: The energy boost I get from being openly admired for my looks is a whole lot better than any instant breakfast. And I don’t think it’s interfered with my career. In fact, I’m sure it’s had the opposite effect. 


Jennifer Romolini: And even though the constant obsessing over her appearance didn’t exactly help her duties on the content side of Viva, it did give her an edge when it came to her other job selling ads. At least it did for a minute. 


Leslie Jay Gould: She would go with this woman, Marianne Howardson, who was also a fabulous looking woman. 


Jennifer Romolini: Like Penthouse PR director Leslie Jay remembers. 


Leslie Jay Gould: And the two of them I once saw them talking to one man, an advertiser [laughs] on either side of him. And I thought, oh my God [laughs] this man is buying pages. 


Jennifer Romolini: Kathy and Marianne laid on the charm and it worked like magic. Advertisers bought in. 


Leslie Jay Gould: I don’t know. They just. It all worked. They were fabulous looking and they were terrific. And they obviously made a lot of money. 


Jennifer Romolini: This sex sells approach was particularly effective for drawing in the penthouse advertisers of the time. Marlboro Man. Big Tobacco. Macho booze companies. Men being men’s stuff. But Viva was a problem from the start. Brands that traditionally bought ads in women’s magazines were generally more conservative. Cosmetics companies say, didn’t want an association with a pornographer like Bob, in part because they were also selling to teens. For a company like Procter & Gamble, a laundry detergent ad in Viva wasn’t worth the risk of turning off prudish housewives. They couldn’t afford even a whiff of connection to smut. So after a decade selling ads for Penthouse and Viva, Kathy’s sales strategy is starting to hit a bunch of snags. Here’s Viva and Penthouse editor Peter Bloch. 


Peter Bloch: She knew she was great at selling ads, and she’d do it by a combination of intelligence and flirtatiousness. But with certain people, you don’t do that if you’re trying to give people to give you millions of dollars in your magazine, that’s not the way to do it. And she’d wear these short skirts and kind of do her flirtiness and all this stuff that worked with a lot of people and certainly and worked with a lot of advertisers, but didn’t work with everybody. 


Jennifer Romolini: Kathy is using what she knows, being alluring and unthreatening to men lightening their wallets by giving them what she thinks they want. It’s worked for her well all the way back to her dancing days. But now it’s starting to work less. Like when Kathy goes to fundraise from some bankers with her colleague, Richard Cohen. 


Peter Bloch: Afterwards, the banker called him up and said, Richard, I’m going to give you a piece of advice. Lose the woman. And Richard said, you’re talking about Miss Keeton? He said, lose the woman. You’re not going to make a dime with her. 


Jennifer Romolini: Now, I’m not going to cast aspersions here. Unlike Peter, I think Kathy could totally do her job in a mini skirt or a space suit. Who cares? Whatever. And it’s impossible to pinpoint exactly why Kathy’s sales strategy stops landing the way it once had. It could be because she’s getting older or because the times are changing, or because in some more conservative rooms, sex just doesn’t sell. 


Pat Lynden: She had no sense that this was inappropriate, that, you know, you just don’t do this. And she didn’t know what was going on, in in that sense. 


Jennifer Romolini: Whatever the case with Kathy out dealing with ad sales and Bob distracted out fighting anti-porn feminists, the Viva editors, they have no real guiding light, no boss leading them in any direction. The rape issue undid a lot. Bette-Jane had been fired. The amazing executive editor, Patti Bosworth, is still at Viva, but she’s heavily reeled in. Morale amongst the staff is low and the job, it’s just not the same. As the calendar turned to 1976, as Viva turned three. The center no longer held on this magazine experiment. Something had to give. After the break— 


Bob Guccione Jr: Most of my life was defined by the moment when there was before penis and after penis [laughter] at Viva. 


Jennifer Romolini: Act two, The Grand Neutering. By 1976, Viva’s in trouble. Here’s Lesley Jay, who’s head of PR for Penthouse at the time. 


Leslie Jay Gould: They weren’t marketing it the right way, I feel, because, look, nobody knows what the magazine was. It was directionless. 


Jennifer Romolini: And she’s right, of course. The magazine’s rudderless lists for all sorts of reasons. It’s currently a mishmash of limp dicks, hard hitting feminist essays and Kathy’s letters on how to put your man first. There’s a leadership vacuum and a morale problem, but more than even all of these things. The most important thing in any creative enterprise, always, there’s a money problem. Unlike Penthouse, Viva is not selling. Here’s Robin. 


Robin Wolaner: And we didn’t sell a lot of subscriptions, but, you know, we didn’t sell a lot of ads either. 


Jennifer Romolini: And remember, Viva was reliant on subscriptions, though it sold in some newsstands, It was considered too explicit to be carried on most. And it also needed ads, which had always been and were now, even with Kathy’s charms, difficult to scare up. 


Robin Wolaner: Most of our readers were gay men because it was the only way you could see nude men outside of a porn environment at that time, which might be a good market, but they’re not going to be able to sell mascara advertising. 


Jennifer Romolini: Yes, at this point, Viva’s readership is mostly gay men, a fact that was always rumored. But now Robin could confirm she’s seen the names on the subscriber list and with few ads and few subscriptions and no significant female readership, well, the magazine’s identity crisis is starting to affect people’s abilities to get their jobs done. 


Robin Wolaner: I had to do a promotional piece for Viva, and I could not figure out what this was. 


Jennifer Romolini: Robin’s just 21 at this time, trying to navigate this challenging environment. 


Robin Wolaner: And so I said to Alma, my boss, I said, I’m really struggling. I don’t know what I can say. I don’t know any woman who would read this magazine. I just don’t get it. And she said, you know, Bob and Kathy would take that well, coming from you, you know, given your background. You know, why don’t you write them a private letter? So I wrote it from my heart. It was everything I believed. 


Jennifer Romolini: Remember, Robin’s been at the company since she was 17, Since the company was smaller. She’s basically part of the family. Her letter is impassioned. A plea to her bosses. In it, she says— 


Robin Wolaner: I’ve got to tell you [laughs] I just don’t understand Viva, and I find it impossible to promote. I don’t know any of my friends. You know, I’m 21. We’re your target market, I don’t know anybody who wants to look at pictures of male penises. I just don’t. And, you know, I like the idea of a sexy magazine for women, but this isn’t sexy to me. 


Jennifer Romolini: Now, hindsight is 20/20, but it’s important to say here there are loads of straight women who like looking at all kinds of penises in all kinds of ways and who find pictures of penises extremely hot. Maybe not in the soft, sad schlong comedy way they were often depicted in Viva. But anyway, back to Robin. She’s hungry. She’s got that idealistic early career fight in her, and she’s found a cause worth fighting for. She thinks the Viva dicks are not only gross, but more that they’re dragging Viva down. And Robin’s not the only Viva editor who thinks the penises in Viva are not working. Here’s Pat. 


Pat Lynden: First of all, it was losing readers because women weren’t interested in naked men. And I read in something or somewhere that somebody said, you know, Bob Guccione does not understand that women don’t want to see naked men. 


Jennifer Romolini: So Robin writes the memo and Kathy and Bob agree with her. It works. 


Bob Guccione Jr: Most of my life was defined by the moment when there was before penis and after penis [laughter] at Viva. 


Jennifer Romolini: That’s Bob Jr. At the time, Robin was coming up with her memo about the future of Viva, Bob Jr. is coming to a similar conclusion. 


Bob Guccione Jr: The circulation department kept coming to my father saying, we’re losing distributors. They don’t want, they think it’s a porn magazine. You don’t get, they don’t stand. You can tell him whatever you want. You can tell you’ve got award winning writers. And we did have those. 


Jennifer Romolini: At this point, Anaïs Nin, Maxine Hong Kingston, Nikki Giovanni and Erica Jong had all written for Viva, but it’s still got the X-rated taint, no pun, of being a sleazy porn magazine. In the seventies this sleaze factor is way easier to sell if you’re making porn for men. Penthouse and Playboy were both sold in porn stores or porn sections of newsstands, places where men shopped and women did not. Put five issues of Viva in the porn section of the newsstand, well, by the end of the month, all five would be right where you left them. The newsstand business was a smaller portion of sales, but it was also a key way to be discovered by new potential readers. And for Viva, newsstand sales would always be limited. No one knew how to help Viva sell because women reading porn wasn’t normalized. And even if people was more than just porn, as long as there was a picture of a dick next to its groundbreaking articles, the distributors viewed the magazine one way and one way only. 


Bob Guccione Jr: We had the best photographers in the world. Helmut Newton was taking pictures for us at the time. Avedon was taking pictures for Viva, the best. But the wholesalers know that or care. He just sees the penis and he thinks this goes into a porn store. I don’t have any porn stores in my network. Why am I getting these magazines? So it wasn’t going on sale throughout the country. 


Jennifer Romolini: The pressure is building up in terms of Viva not selling. And Bob’s usual, it’s fine the readers will catch up, attitude is beginning to falter. Finally. 


Bob Guccione Jr: And then one day he just gave in to the pressure when he realized the magazine was barely getting on sale outside of New York and Los Angeles, and other major metropolitan areas. So the penises went away. 


Jennifer Romolini: By agreeing to cut the dicks from Viva Bob and Kathy make a concession. It’s a concession that goes against the entire Viva promise, goes against the idea that straight women should have a place to stare at naked men to explore their R and X-rated desires like men had with Penthouse. And though the porn in Viva was rarely executed appropriately, it was rarely through a female lens. It was still the entire reason Viva was made in the first place. And if Viva wasn’t a smart feminist porn magazine, then what in the world was it? But Bob and Kathy don’t give the staff much time to sort this out. They’re not what you’d call master business strategists. They’re capricious and impulsive. They decide the dicks should go with no warning or vision for what happens next. After Robin sends her memo, things move fast, faster than Robin had imagined they would. 


Robin Wolaner: I was a little bit set up in writing the memo. I was not the catalyst for them changing Viva. 


Jennifer Romolini: After Robin’s memo goes out, Bob and Kathy agree to her direction. And Alma Moore, Robin’s boss, who encouraged her to write the memo, who’d never edited a magazine before but clearly wanted to. Now becomes Viva’s main editor. Alma Moore didn’t want to talk to us for this podcast. And since Patti passed away in 2020, she’s not here to confirm this for sure. But judging from the mastheads, Patti’s out right after Robbin’s memo, which wasn’t necessarily Robbin’s intention. Patti Bosworth, the beloved editor who brought Viva some of its most groundbreaking journalism, is thrown away with the dicks. 


Robin Wolaner: Very quickly, the staff, most of the staff was fired. The new policy was announced, Alma was announced as the editorial director, and I moved over as an associate editor. It was kind of surprising. 


Jennifer Romolini: And so in the April 1976 issue, Viva has a new masthead and Kathy publishes a new letter announcing the magazine’s new identity. It’s titled, On Past and Future Changes. In this letter, written just months after the one at the beginning of this episode, Kathy’s tone completely shifts. There’s no sex kitten rhetoric. She’s a career woman now, shouting her accomplishments, highlighting the lack of professional opportunities for women and publishing stories on things like how women should ask for a raise. Viva’s changing and growing. And what’s unspoken is so is Kathy. Here’s Natalie Robehmed again, reading Kathy. 


Natalie Robehmed: Viva has always been very personal to me. That’s why I see changes to this magazine on human terms. First there was birth, then self-definition, and now there’s growth. 


Jennifer Romolini: Alongside the letter. There’s a photo. In it Kathy looks a lot different than she did at the beginning of this episode. She’s decked out in power jewelry, chunky bracelets, statement earrings. Her nails are red, her hair slicked back. She’s even smoking a cigarette. It’s a transformation akin to Sandy’s makeover at the end of Grease, if Sandy was once an exotic dancer turned high powered girl boss. Kathy’s editor’s letter continues. 


Natalie Robehmed: What would be different? Perhaps most obvious at first would be a change in erotic photography. With tastes developing so rapidly, it’s difficult to predict what’s going to interest women. But in our opinion, it’s not going to be male nudity. 


Jennifer Romolini: Kathy has done a full 180. 


Natalie Robehmed: It’s an exciting time and I believe a wonderful time. Perhaps we will all be able to finally work in a world in which a woman is allowed to work, to be a respected member of society and retain her own individuality. 


Jennifer Romolini: And as the remaining Viva women head into the late seventies, the times are changing. The anti-porn feminists who were fighting Kathy are drowning out all other feminist voices. Porno chic is heading out and the Reagan era moral majority’s sniffing around looking for a way in. For Viva editors like Pat and Robin, the cocks conundrum, the flaccid dicks they hated was at last settled. They no longer need to keep up the charade. Here’s Pat. 


Pat Lynden: We’re bringing Viva on this new track now, Viva is now going to be a terrific magazine. It’s going to be a feminist magazine. It’s going to be exciting. It’s going to be better than Ms. It’s going to be different from Cosmo. 


Jennifer Romolini: And while the focus is now on words and even though Viva no longer features groundbreaking male nudes, that doesn’t mean its photography will stop being both important and influential. Because this little feminist porn magazine that no longer contains porn, it’s about to become a launching pad for a woman who will become the most famous and powerful fashion editor of all time. 


Leslie Jay Gould: I remember when she came in, there was a big to do with, oh we have Anna Wintour. [music plays]


Jennifer Romolini: Stiffed is an original podcast from iHeartMedia and Crooked Media. It’s produced by Crooked Media. It’s hosted and written by me, Jennifer Romolini and produced by Megan Donis. Sydney Rapp is our associate producer. Story editing by Mary Knopf. Music, sound design and engineering by Hannis Brown. Our fact checker is Julia Paskin. Additional production support from Nafula Kato and Ines Maza. From Crooked Media our executive producers are Sarah Geismer, Katie Long, and Mary Knopf. With special thanks to Alison Falzetta and Lyra Smith. From iHeartMedia our executive producers are Beth Anne Macaluso and Julia Weaver.