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Gimlet to produce a daily news podcast with the Wall Street Journal

I’ve just learned that Gimlet Media is stepping into the daily news podcast space, courtesy of the Wall Street Journal. The move was announced internally earlier today, and as it stands, the two companies are currently seeking an executive producer and a host to staff the production. Specific details are still scants, but the hope, I hear, is to roll the show out around the second quarter of 2019.

This will mark Gimlet’s second partnership with an establishment media company; the other being The Cut on Tuesdays, a co-production with the New York Magazine vertical. (The Cut on Tuesdays, by the way, was named as one of the New York Times’ “Five Great Podcasts from 2018.”)

The move, to my mind, makes a ton of strategic sense, for a few reasons:

  • For Gimlet, it’s a potential revenue boon. As we’ve come to learn, a daily news podcast product is one that’s able to hold a ton of advertising inventory and thus will be very valuable from a reliable revenue standpoint;
  • The Wall Street Journal gets to benefit from Gimlet’s production infrastructure and expertise;
  • And Gimlet won’t have to worry all too much about building a daily news podcast audience from scratch, because the point would be to convert Wall Street Journal readers.

Two things to consider:

  • The big question is whether Gimlet’s sensibility is a good fit for the Wall Street Journal’s sound; and
  • This isn’t the Wall Street Journal’s first podcast rodeo, nor their first daily news podcast. They’ve had podcast endeavors going way back, from their early internal attempts at news audio during the first Podcast Boom up through the 2015 era via a partnership with Panoply, back when that company was still in the content business and pursued a strategy of replicating Gabfest-style programming for a variety of media partners. That Gimlet is exhibiting a growing interest in taking over that media partner-strategy is absolutely fascinating.

Ah yes, the daily news podcast. Between existing productions like The Daily, Up First, Today, Explained, and The Indicator (happy one-year anniversary!) and recent launches like Post Reports, Front Burner, What Next, Today in Focus, the allure of the format is stronger than ever as we close out 2018.