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Podcasters Expand Shows And Go Live For 2020 Election Coverage.

Since the last time Americans voted for president, the podcast industry has grown exponentially both in terms of content offered and listening. As votes are casts and counted Tuesday, the role of podcasts in delivering news will be showcased like never before as some podcasters stretch the definition of the medium by going live and others release more episodes and special content.

The highest profile move is by The Daily, the New York Times-produced morning news podcast. It will live stream a live broadcast on Tuesday (Nov. 3) from 4 to 8pm ET. Anchored by “The Daily” host Michael Barbaro and Carolyn Ryan, a Deputy Managing Editor who has led The Times’s Politics desk and the Washington bureau, the live stream will feature conversations with correspondents and voters across the country.

“For the past four years, our Audio team has been building a relationship with listeners, introducing them to our family of Times voices they trust to provide them with insight and context to understand today’s most important stories. And now, in what is shaping up to be an Election Day unlike any we’ve seen before, we know that our listeners are going to be looking to Michael and the dozens of Times reporters across the country to help make sense of it all,” said Lisa Tobin, The Times’s Executive Producer of Audio.

The Daily’s producers see the live stream as a new way to showcase the audio journalism being done by the Times, and as a way to bring listeners even closer to Election Day’s most important developments. It will also leverage the more than 20 campaign reporters that the newspaper will have on the ground in battleground states, in addition to more than 50 photographers and videographers.

Unlike the podcast that can be widely found on a variety of apps, the Times said Tuesday’s live stream will only be available on the podcast’s dedicated web page on the newspaper’s websites.

Futuro Goes Live Too

The Daily is not the only podcast to embrace live streaming for the election. Futuro Media’s politics podcast In The Thick is also hosting a live Election Night virtual show. The twice-weekly roundtable podcast hosted by public radio veteran Maria Hinojos and journalist Julio Ricard Varela, covers politics, race and culture from the perspective of people of color in a format that has previously translated to the live stage and to virtual events during the pandemic. But Tuesday will mark the first time the podcast will be live-streamed.

“In The Thick continues to provide fresh perspectives on the political process,” said Futuro Media’s Executive Director Erika Dilday, “Our election night coverage will break down the contest in real time and with honesty, humor and much-needed insights.”

The live show recording will begin at 6pm ET with a long list of guests lined up, including several podcast hosts.

Things will begin on a lighter note, however. Futuro says comedian and writer Mohanad Elshieky, who is currently a digital producer on “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee,” will offer his take on the political season.

"Most political conversations tend to leave out certain stories and perspectives -- particularly those of people of color. That's why what In The Thick is doing is so groundbreaking: they're elevating the underrepresented voices that need to be heard,” said Vernon Foster II, Content Manager at Acast which hosts and distributes the podcast.

ABC Makes ‘Powerhouse Politics’ A Daily

Elsewhere, ABC News says its daily news podcast Start Here hosted by Brad Mielke plans to have special coverage all week long, including special editions on Election Day, Nov. 4, and as news warrants. It also released a special episode focused just on how ABC News plans to cover the election results. ABC News also said that its Powerhouse Politics podcast, hosted by ABC News' Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl and Political Director Rick Klein, will release special daily episodes all week.

Trump Inc. Tied To Magazine Feature

Scores of other political podcasters are also releasing special shows and content. WNYC Studio’s Trump Inc. podcast has partnered with New York Magazine for an episode that is a companion to the magazine’s feature “Fifty-One Insiders Who Profited off the Trump Presidency,” in the issue on stands now.

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