When it comes to making power moves in the media industry as a journalist, Gia Peppers is THAT girl! Her hard work, professionalism, charisma and love for what she does is what sets her apart and keeps her at the top of her game.

She’s had the opportunity to take up space in mainstream media outlets. Peppers appears as a contributor on shows such as The Today Show and Entertainment Tonight. As well as a co-host of the wildly popular podcast, Black Girl Podcast. She has also partnered with Michelle Obama’s “When We All Vote” campaign as a social ambassador. Peppers lends her voice to Color Of Change’s “Tell Black Stories” and #ChangeHollywood initiatives.

Her journey from interning in radio to helming her own creative projects has made way for her latest venture, More Than That With Gia Peppers. The 20-minute podcast is a sonic journey through the qualms of Black America that investigates a myriad of challenges our communities face, one candid conversation at a time. With a thirst for telling our stories openly and honestly, Peppers has paved a one-of-a-kind path for herself in this industry. This allows her to not only open doors for herself but for others just like her.

21Ninety caught up with entertainment journalist to talk season 3 of More Than That Podcast, all things journalism, what sets her show apart and more!

Liz Smith: To pop off the conversation I want to first ask did journalism chose you or did you chose it? 

Gia Peppers: I think journalism chose me. I think storytelling and entertainment chose me when I was growing up. My mother told me that I was really not the kid that you could put in timeout, because I would be in my room. So hosting talk shows with my dolls and stuffed animals and even back to when I was literally two months old. My dad took me into the newsroom. My dad’s a journalist as well, a hard news journalist, and has been for his whole career.

He took me into the newsroom at NPR where he was working at the time and he came back home and was like “Gia just went in the newsroom and told everybody she wants to become a broadcast journalist.” Little did we know that would literally be the absolute truth about how my life would unfold. I’m so grateful I have that video because I totally believe that journalism, creativity, storytelling, entertainment, using my gifts and talents that it was all meant to be!

Credit: Jonavennci Divad

LS: I’d be remised if I didn’t say congratulations on season 3 of “More Than That Podcast!”So happy for you. “More Than That” won AdWeek’s Diversity, Equity, and InclusionPodcast of the year award last year and I’m sure you’ll take home more awards this year. Now we hear so many people say that the podcast space is “oversaturated” and full of gossip content however, “More Than That” is not! In what ways do you believe More Than That Podcast what sets it apart from other podcasts?

GP: Wow, that’s such a great question and thank you for that question. I do believe that the podcast game is a little heavy, I don’t know that it’s oversaturated because we all have people who look up to us and are looking for how we feel on things. It is the only space where you can give full context to anything that came out of social media. I do think podcasting is important because in 20 years, your kids, anybody can listen to how you felt in that moment.

You never know how that little snapshot in time will serve you in the future. So I say do it, you might not do it forever but at least do it. Try it, see what happens. Our podcast is different because we are very intentional. Intentional with what we talk about because we understand that we are serving our community in a way that is very, very rare. We are in 104 radio markets across the country and we are also a podcast with a huge scale of ages. I am grateful to be a part of a show that really when you listen to it, you think about things in a different way. You learn something that you never really knew and it’s only 20 minutes. You can find a whole new world and discover a whole new perspective about about a topic by listening to this show.

LS: What can listeners expect from season 3 and what’s one episode that stuck with you this season?

GP: Well, we are still in production so there’s plenty more guests but, Erica Campbell was just on and we know our good sis Erica is almost like a superhero. She’s a mom, she’s a wife and author, New York Times best selling author, a businesswoman, a Grammy Award winning artist, first lady of a church and a daily morning show radio host like, I’m always in awe at at how she handles it all!

So one of our episodes is about having it all and we talked to her about how she manages what she does when she feels overwhelmed and her support system. We also had on Tina Meeks, who’s a content creator and she also is a mom and a wife and just a super dope human being. I wanted to have that episode because my mom, I watched her have it all and juggle it so beautifully and so gracefully, so I wanted to talk to women about how they’re doing it today.

LS: Black media, black journalists, black producers, black content period is so important and are truly needed! What changes do you hope to see for black media in 2023?

GP: I hope that Black media feels more supported from other major brands. I hope that the success of More Than That, can be a Northstar for more major brands to really fund our online publications.

I want to see more funding for all of those properties that consistently call out how these ad dollars are spent. I think it’s really important that we continue to do that until we see a change and there are dozens of More Than That.

Dozens of places that feel like you know, we have great partners and people who want to show up authentically for the consumer base that is always going to be a leader in the world because we know how to spend some coins on our side. So spend it back, invest in us, show us that you care by putting that dollar back into the places that are telling the stories that are helping us really be pushed forward. So I want to hear all about those success stories. I’m hoping that More Than That can show these major brands that not only does partnering with our community matter, but like reinvesting in our community matters as well, especially in the spaces that are authentically telling our stories and telling them in ways that will add to people’s lives.

LS: What do you believe the Gia Peppers brand represent for your community?

GP: I believe that the Gia Peppers bran represents that you can absolutely do whatever it is you’re called to do and you can do it with kindness and grace. You can do it with hustle but most importantly, to do it with faith. You got to believe in something bigger than yourself and I would not be who I am, where I am, what I am without God. I really always, always am going to be that girl that talks about God and it’s just because it’s how I was raised, but it’s also just who I am. It’s the most important thing I do every day is pray and journal and just talk to God. I know that in my career I don’t have an agent, like I’ve never had an agent before but all of this is from the Lord!

Credit: Gia Peppers

More Than That season 3 is officially out and available on all major streaming platforms.