David Remnick is ready to fulfill his childhood dream.
The editor in chief is set to make his debut as a radio host when The New Yorker launches its radio program and podcast on Oct. 24. Called “The New Yorker Radio Hour,” the weekend show is coproduced by WNYC Studios.
“I’m very excited about it — not in the least because I’ve been listening to radio since I’m a kid. I used to listen to radio for hours,” Remnick told WWD. “In recent times, there has been an explosion of creativity in radio.”
Remnick acknowledged the direct comparison of The New Yorker to NPR, saying: “I get the cartoon of it.”
“We’re not going to read things to you on the air,” he said, while offering that the show would enrich the experience of the magazine.
The programs will be built around The New Yorker’s writers, artists and editors, and hosted by Remnick, who will start the series in conversation with author and MacArthur “genius” Ta-Nehisi Coates. Other guests on that episode will include staff writer Jill Lepore, who will share a personal essay, and cartoonists Matthew Diffee and Drew Dernavich. The cartoonists will talk listeners through their weekly grind of producing material for The New Yorker.
Future episodes include interviews with the actress, comedian and writer Amy Schumer, the musician and producer Robert Glasper, and the activist Gloria Steinem.
According to Lisa Hughes, chief revenue officer and publisher of The New Yorker, the idea for the show came from the edit side, which has dipped its toe in podcasts before for the magazine and seen success.
She explained that when her team met with WNYC it “felt like there was a meeting of the minds.”
“They are a big player in radio,” she said, before turning to The New Yorker. “I think you have to have a brand that is going to resonate. There’s one reason why our sponsors signed on and it was because of our storytelling. Everyone claims they’re good at that but we’re really, really good at it.”
Dean Cappello, chief content officer for WNYC concurred, noting: “The New Yorker and WNYC share so many values, and ‘The New Yorker Radio Hour’ is an amazing fit for public radio listeners across the country and podcast audiences everywhere.”
Audible and Squarespace are the launch sponsors for the show, which will air terrestrially on New York’s WNYC on 93.9 FM, Saturdays at 10 a.m. EST and Sundays at 7 p.m. EST; and on AM 820, Sundays at 2 p.m. EST. The program will also air on WGBH Boston and on Oregon Public Broadcasting, with additional public-radio carriage to be revealed in the coming weeks. Listeners can also access the program via iTunes or via newyorker.com or wnyc.org.