The show is called Front Burner, and it begins public operations next Monday, October 29. Hosted by Jayme Poisson, who is a former investigative reporter at the Toronto Star.
Front Burner‘s launch will come about a week after Slate kicked off their own entry into the genre, What Next. (Which, by the way, I tend to hear in my head as an exasperated voice. Like “WHAT FRESH HELL DO WE HAVE NEXT?” That kind of thing. Anyway.)
We’re right in the thick of a natural experiment on (a) whether the market has room for more than one or two major daily news podcasts, and (b) whether those don’t become that one or two major daily podcast can figure out a sufficient way to carve out their specific places in the world. Some of this will come down to time-splitting — as What Next has opted to do, dropping its episodes in the late afternoon, thus pitting itself in the same time slot as Today, Explained — but most of this will likely come down to each production’s ability to convert their existing digital audiences (and devotees), particularly the segments that do not overlap with that of a daily news podcast-producing competitor. In this regard, I think What Next might be up against some considerable friction, as I’m willing to bet there’s a strong overlap between Slate and Vox.com’s audiences. Add to that the fact the two sites release their daily news podcasts at the same time of day, and further add to that the fact that news fatigue in the age of Trump is a super real thing, and you have a real fight on your hands.
The CBC, on the hand, theoretically has a clearer runway: much like how the entirety of Canada’s basketball fandom can rally behind the one NBA team they have — shouts to the Raptors — the CBC is perhaps in a good position to claim The North.
Anyway, don’t forget we have at least one daily news pod from a major media organization still on the horizon: Post Reports, featuring host Martine Powers. The launch date for that has also been announced: a frigid December 3.
I’m reminded of a fun quote I found when putting together my book proposal earlier this year. From Marty Baron, current editor of The Washington Post, who said this of podcasts while still at the Boston Globe: “Big time commitment, little gain.” Will history repeat itself for the legendary editor?