Creating a successful new daily podcast requires a specific combination of different skills and assets. „You cannot bulls*it chemistry.“ says Dino Sofos, executive producer of The News Agents.
About a year ago Dino Sofos came up with an idea – creating a daily news podcast with a human touch. There has been enough of the news that is rigid and uninspirational. The customer-centered journalism is becoming more and more popular. The audience doesn’t just want to know what happened but also why it happened, it seeks the context in a way that is digestible.
Sofos reached out to a media company Global, its Head of factual podcasts Vicky Etchells, and to three excellent journalists – Emily Maitlis, Jon Sopel and Lewis Goodall – who agreed on pursuing his vision and the daily podcast The News Agents was launched in August 2022.
The attendees of the conference managed to get a word from the podcast’s presenters, who are in the United Kingdom. Maitlis, Sopel, and Goodall described how content they are about working on something new and being able to “attack the news in a slightly different way”. It was also interesting for them because they got the opportunity to produce longer and more analytical interviews and news.
“The dynamic between the three of them is what makes the difference,” Etchells thinks, and she adds that that is one of the reasons the guests feel good in the studio. They are also a professional team who can use their broad contacts in the political sphere and get them to admit things that they wouldn’t talk about in the conventional news broadcasts.
An important component of the podcast is also the host’s reporting skills. They are able to bring a more detailed analysis and travel to provide coverage. They also don’t have scripts and use the knowledge they acquired in their decades of experience, Sofos confirms.
The launch of the podcast benefited enormously from the already existing network that Global owns. It was able to use its radio stations as well as outdoor advertisements. Podcasts need to have a similarly big scale promotion to become a sensation, Sofos argues and claims that you need to “go big or go home”, when it comes to launching a new daily podcast.
And how do they attract new audiences? TikTok, Twitter, Instagram – they use all available platforms to promote the podcast. By posting short videos they expect that people who are not familiar with The News Agents yet will eventually bump into them. And they often do.