The New York Times’ news podcast, “The Daily,” is planning to host its first-ever live show on Tuesday to cover Election Day.
The live audio show will be anchored by host Michael Barbaro and Carolyn Ryan, a deputy managing editor at The Times. The show will run from 4 to 8 p.m. ET and be available on The Times’ website.
With the live event, the Times is signaling an interest in growing its audio footprint, which first started taking shape with “The Run-Up,” a political podcast that chronicled the 2016 election. Earlier this year, The Times acquired Serial Productions and has created more podcast series such as opinion-focused shows. On Tuesday, “The Daily” live show will be competing with live coverage across TV networks and radio stations, who have long invested in making Election Day coverage a big event.
During the four-hour event, Barbaro and Ryan will talk about the election results in key states and invite on Times White House and politics correspondents across the US, including Maggie Haberman, Astead W. Herndon, Alexander Burns and Jennifer Medina.
Lisa Tobin, The Times’ executive producer for audio, told CNN Business that the idea for a live show was inspired by the desire to provide a service to its listeners who may be anxious about the election. The New York Times launched “The Daily” in 2017 touts its now 4 million daily downloads.
“Never has there been a moment where I think more Americans are more anxiously awaiting the results of an election and then on top of that we’re all stuck in our homes,” Tobin said. “It’s a place where we say, ‘Okay, you know what? Here are these familiar voices. They’re on the ground all over the country, and they’re uniquely positioned to help you understand what’s about to happen.’”
This will be an experiment for the team at “The Daily” on several fronts. Not only will it be their first live show, but the format will force them to improvise and forgo a heavily edited and highly produced podcast.
“The Daily” does not always cover the day’s top news story, but the US presidential election has been a major area of focus. Last year, Barbaro interviewed several Democratic candidates including Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg. “The Daily” has produced episodes in which other Times reporters and “The Daily” producers interviewed voters on the ground in Iowa, South Carolina and Florida.
“‘The Daily’ was basically an experiment born out of 2016 and this is kind of an experiment born out of 2020,” Tobin said about Tuesday’s live show.
Sam Dolnick, an assistant managing editor at The Times, said the company was willing to invest in this live audio event because “The Daily” has always been a place for experimentation.
“My guess is it’s going to be really fun,” Dolnick told CNN Business. “We’re going to learn a lot, and some version of this is going to be part of the audio team going forward.”