Slate is doubling down on What Next, its daily news podcast. The company is dramatically expanding its team in a few directions, including: installing Mary Wilson as dedicated politics editor to chart the show’s coverage of Washington and the 2020 presidential election cycle, moving producer Jayson De Leon onto the special projects team that will specialize on sussing out bigger stories, and a supervising producer to lead what Gabriel Roth, Slate’s editorial director of audio, describes as a “newsroom within the newsroom.”
“The working idea right now is to have a couple of producers churning on the news and a couple of producers looking ahead, but one of the great things about Slate is that everyone does everything here,” host Mary Harris tells me. “As we’ve gotten our two new producers (Danielle Hewitt, who had been producing in DC for Slate, and Mara Silvers, who joined from WNYC) up to speed, the idea is to have producers who can book, edit, and mix. In the next year, we want to do more deep dives… more live events, like the one we’re doing at the Texas Tribune Festival later this month. We also want our producers to be able to work with Slate writers as they report their stories — that way when we interview our favorite folks, those conversations will have more texture.”
What Next will hit the one-year mark next month, on October 17.