Pass the Mic with the Hosts of The First Degree

May 14, 2024

Meet Jac Vanek and Alexis Linkletter, co-hosts of The First Degree. In addition to podcasting, Jac is a business owner and successful author with a New York Times best selling book. When Jac found out Alexis was looking to start a podcast, their friendship transcended to a new level, and Jac began living out her true American dream. 

Outside of her podcasting career, Alexis has also found success in television. She has produced true crime TV shows and hosted others on Investigation Discovery and Discovery Plus. After the successful launch of The First Degree, Alexis started another podcast called Unraveled that coincided with a show on Discovery ID with the same name. Jac and Alexis have been working together for the past four years, living out their dreams as besties and co-hosts. 

Jac and Alexis were part of our new creator-focused season of the Pass the Mic Podcast, hosted by Sophie Anderson, Sales Marketing, Podcasts. In their interview, they shared their experiences as creators, how they find safety and comfort in their community, and their advice to other women following in their footsteps. Check out some highlights from the conversation below. 

Tell your story.

Tell your story - Jac Vanek

Highlight: “Podcasting is unlike anything else... You can really tell your story the way that you want to, and you don't have to answer questions to anybody else. There's really no other medium that you can do that in.”  - Jac Vanek

Don't worry about labels.

Don't worry about labels - Alexis Linkletter

Highlight: “I am also constantly worried about being labeled as difficult, or being labeled as a bitch, or being labeled as some scandal, and that label sticking with you. And I don't think men deal with that… I think about my reputation within the podcast world and what that is, or with listeners, and I don't think men carry those emotional burdens either.” - Alexis Linkletter

Find strong female mentors. 

Find strong female mentors - Alexis Linkletter

Highlight: “Starting in TV, which is what I did before podcasting, a key for me was finding strong female mentors. I luckily have worked for female-led production companies primarily, and had really strong female showrunners in that industry to look to. And their consideration, being in an authoritative role in the way they delegated or the way they told stories, I think that was an amazing example for me. I think women are better at it. I think women are in there carving their way. They're getting more executive roles in the TV world and in the podcast world, and I think all the content will be better for it.” - Alexis Linkletter 

Want to hear more from Alexis and Jac? Check out their full episode on the Pass the Mic podcast. And if you want to hear from other inspirational female leaders and creators, visit our Pass the Mic page

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