Nov. 27 2018
Ladygang is the podcast-turned-E!-talk-series featuring three hilarious, successful women. Keltie Knight is an Emmy Award winning television personality and “Entertainment Tonight” host. She has also co-anchored CBS’ broadcasting of national events such as the “Thanksgiving Day Parade” and the “Grammy Awards Red Carpet.” In addition, she is a frequent contributor to “The Talk,” CNN, HLN, and as a moderator for Vanity Fair. To top it all off, she’s a philanthropist that has helped raise over 1.3 million dollars for various causes. Becca Tobin is an actress, singer, dancer, and host you might recognize as Kitty from Glee. She’s also appeared on the shows “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “Drop Dead Diva,” and “Mystery Girls,” as well as the Hallmark movies “Love at First Dance” and “A Song for Christmas.” Finally, Jac Vanek is a self-made entrepreneur, CEO and a powerful fashion and music influencer of her generation. She created the Jac Vanek brand–which features sassy graphics and slogans boldly say what everyone else is thinking, and have been worn by celebrities such as Cara Delevingne, Vanessa Hudgens, Joe Jonas, Lindsay Lohan, and Ellie Goulding. It has also been stocked in major retailers such as Topshop, Zumiez, Bloomingdales, and Revolve. Below, these talk series hosts and executive producers answer our questions about how their show came to be, business advice, and behind-the-scenes secrets that might surprise you.
Newsette: You conquered the world of podcasting, and now have a talk series on E!. How did the show come to be? Was this one of the goals when you started the podcast?
Keltie: From the very start, we always wanted a TV show, but we knew that no one was going to give us the show we wanted. We set the podcast up like “a show” and knew that IF we could make a popular podcast, then we could go to a network and have a better chance at a show! 3 Years later, our plan actually worked out! It’s shocking!
Jac: We had an end goal for a TV show during the inception of The LadyGang and actually had a meeting with E! during our debut week of our podcast back in 2015! We knew we needed to take our time and get our bearings in podcast land and also with each other in general, so the timing of our show let us evolve as a trio into the best LadyGang we could be for TV!
Becca: Keltie and I were sitting at lunch one day complaining about how heartbreaking the entertainment industry was and said (sort of jokingly) “Let’s make a talk show!” Keltie, being the most tenacious person I know, called me a couple weeks later with the idea for a podcast and introduced the idea of Jac Vanek as our third host. We knew no one would give a bunch of relatively unknown girls their own TV show, so we had some work to do!
Newsette: You are each incredibly successful in your own right, but even more powerful as a team. How has working in a group helped you achieve the success of LadyGang?
Keltie: I think we each have strengths and weaknesses, and those really complement each other. When I’m having a breakdown, Becca and Jac will be strong. When Jac feels like day drinking on a Friday, I don’t mind working. It all evens out.
Jac: We all have very specific skills that don’t really overlap at all, which I think has been such a big proponent to our success. We complement each other so well and also respect and trust each other’s opinions so we know when something is a Keltie thing or a Becca thing or a Jac thing. There are the perfect amount of cooks in the kitchen in The LadyGang operation!
Becca: I think that working as a team has given each of us so much more confidence when it comes to chasing what we want! As an actress, it can be very lonely and isolating, so this was a VERY welcome change for me personally!
Newsette: You’ve had incredible guests like Ashley Tisdale, Lea Michele, and Louise Roe on the LadyGang podcast. When you were first getting started, were most of your guests personal connections? How did your process of recruiting new celebrities change after the podcast started getting traction?
Keltie: At first we just begged people, asked our friends, and then as the show became more popular, stars realized that if they wanted to sell a show, a book, or their makeup that LadyGang was a pivotal place to do so because our fan base was so powerful, and massive.
Jac: Oh god yes…I think the first 6 months of the podcast were all personal friends of ours. We were new and podcasting in general was new, so a lot of celebrities’ publicists didn’t really trust the format in the beginning. But once we got in our flow and had episodes under our belt to show people, it was a lot easier to get awesome guests on.
Becca: When we first started, we basically just begged our friends in the industry. We owe a lot of the podcast’s success to those very generous people!! Now that we have been going for three years, it’s funny how we get publicists pitching their clients to US!
Newsette: There’s the gear, the studio, the editing–making a podcast isn’t easy. What was the most surprisingly difficult part about starting LadyGang?
Keltie: Honestly, because this has always been a “side hustle” finding the time for all three of us to get together is always the hardest part. In fact, we actually tape most of our episodes out of my office, because of the time jam we are all in!
Jac: The most difficult thing about The LadyGang wasn’t recording the podcast itself, but it was everything else that went into making this a full 360 brand. We had the merch and the LadyBox and the Facebook group and the socials and all of the little inner workings that helped boost LadyGang to the next level.
Becca: The most difficult part at first was honestly booking guests! Our partners at Podcast One made the rest really easy for us.
Newsette: What’s it like filming an E! talk series? Can you each give us a few behind-the-scenes secrets that our readers would be surprise to know?
Keltie: Well, first off we film in my house and for our first show I didn’t have a coffee maker at home- and Jac just about killed me. Jac sleeps over on Monday nights, because our mornings are so early!
Jac: Well, a fun little secret is that we start filming at 5:30am in the morning and…we’re drinking. The show airs at 10:30pm at night so I’m sure the viewers assume we’re filming at night but we’re starting at the crack of dawn. So I’ve got coffee in one cup and champagne in the other and a hangover at 1pm!
Becca: We film the talk show portion of the show VERY early on Tuesdays, which means we are drinking champagne at 7am and are hungover by 1pm.
Newsette: How has creating the podcast–and now starring on *your* show–affected your friendship? What tips do you each have on how to work with friends on a business venture?
Keltie: The most important thing is that we always have each other’s back, even when someone makes a mistake or has a bad day.
Jac: When we started our podcast we weren’t good friends already and I honestly think that’s been a huge part of our success. We started our relationship on a business level so we know our boundaries with each other and weren’t bringing in any residual friendship baggage into the mix. We are also “catching up” on the podcast and the show itself, so any inside jokes we make are also made with the listener, and they grow and evolve with us as the podcast goes on. We don’t really hang out outside of work (but at this point I see Becca and Keltie WAY more than I see any of my friends), so I think keeping things on a professional level has helped us massively.
Becca: It’s always important to communicate and remember to be vulnerable. Egos can get in the way of so much, but it makes a world of a difference when you can push it aside and speak honestly.
LADYGANG airs Sundays at 10:30pm ET/PT only on E!