Modern Healthcare's Next Up Podcast

Modern Healthcare, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, is a leading source of information about healthcare business, policy news, and research. It is ranked No. 1 in readership among healthcare executives, and over 80% of hospital C-suite executives receive Modern Healthcare. Modern Healthcare’s reach is expansive with nearly 70,000 print editions in circulation, over 1.2 million monthly website views, and nearly 1 million followers on social media.

Key Goals

In 2019, Modern Healthcare teamed up with CareContent to produce a twice-monthly podcast to provide inspirational, educational, and entertaining conversations straight from the most credible sources in the healthcare industry. Hosted by CareContent CEO, Kadesha Thomas Smith, Next Up is aimed at empowering aspiring healthcare leaders to rise in their careers.

Modern Healthcare’s Next Up started from the ground up. Goals included not only creating but also growing listenership for the brand new podcast. It was also designed to drive more traffic to the Modern Healthcare website and promote CareContent’s brand.

The Challenges

Starting a podcast from scratch requires everything to be strategically planned, organized, and executed. For Next Up, key decisions included the topic, audience, name, format, length, cover art, intro/outro music, host, guests, and promotional tactics.

Any new podcast is also up against the steep competition of over 2 million podcasts.

Modern Healthcare podcast screenshots


To understand Modern Healthcare’s strategic priorities, the CareContent team:

  • Reviewed a discovery survey of 388 Modern Healthcare subscribers
  • Conducted a landscape assessment of 21 similar podcasts

The purpose of the discovery period is to identify how the podcast can meet the needs of the intended audience: Aspiring healthcare leaders. This has driven every decision during content production and content promotion.

As of October 2020, the CareContent team has written and produced 36 Next Up episodes. A consistent, communicative feedback loop has allowed the CareContent team to ensure that the podcast continues to reflect the content priorities of Modern Healthcare’s senior leaders and Next Up’s listeners.


The first episode of Modern Healthcare’s Next Up was released on May 30, 2020. The content-first approach has supported its ambitious growth goals, leading to several key indicators of success:

  • Modern Healthcare’s overall podcast audience has reached nearly 80,000 healthcare leaders.
  • The top episode of Next Up has reached 1,445 downloads.
  • The top 10 episodes of Next Up are all well above 500 downloads.

It has been wonderful to know I can depend upon CareContent's team of professionals to understand and appreciate the nuances of the healthcare industry. We work collaboratively to identify high-priority and timely issues to discuss on a podcast produced by CareContent. The quality is excellent and they are extremely dependable.

Aurora Aguilar, Editor in Chief, Modern Healthcare