EXCLUSIVE: Ben Cooley, the former chief executive of Lena Dunham and Jenn Konner’s Lenny Letter, has started a new media company with a focus on mysticism and spirituality practices.
Lenny Letter was a digital media start-up run by the Girls and Camping exec producers between 2015 and 2018 that at its peak had around 500,000 readers.
Cooley has set up multi-platform media company Your Magic with former Lenny Letter editorial and creative director Molly Elizalde and writers Vera Blossom and Veronica Agard. The team, which was put together during quarantine includes staff across the U.S. from New York to Hawaii.
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Its first project is the eponymous Your Magic podcast, hosted by author and Drag Queen Story Hour founder Michelle Tea. The Spotify Original series will launch on February 15 and each episode begins with a tarot reading and interview with a celebrity guest, before Tea delves into the mystical practices of contemporary spiritual communities, such as new moon rituals and the use of emojis in spell work.
Initial guests include Busy Philipps, author Roxane Gay and musician Phoebe Bridgers. The show is being co-produced in association with Spotify-owned Parcast and will be a companion to its popular Horoscope Today series. It is exec produced by Elizalde and Cooley.
“During these topsy-turvy times, with so much around us in flux, my spirituality practice has been crucial in helping me navigate change and refuel my energy so I can stay positive and helpful to the folks around me,” said Tea. “I’m psyched to collaborate with a diversity of voices, all of us working to investigate mystical ideas with respect, humor and wonder, offering listeners a place for healing, understanding and the inspiration to explore their own spirituality. We’re thrilled Spotify has given us this platform to reach those navigating their own journeys.”
“Molly and I helped build Lenny from a narrowly-focused newsletter into a small company with broad ambitions and we hope to do the same with this podcast. Our format spotlights emerging voices, energizing a new generation of artists, activists, and practitioners,” added Cooley.
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