Anushka Asthana to host The Guardian’s new podcast series

The Guardian announced yesterday that political editor Anushka Asthana will become the host of its first ever daily news and current affairs podcast.

Anushka Asthana to host The Guardian’s new podcast series

It will launch by the end of the year and take listeners behind the headlines, says The Guardian.

Anushka Asthana is currently The Guardian’s joint political editor and her career includes senior political correspondent at Sky News, Peston on Sunday, chief political correspondent and columnist at The Times, and policy editor at The Observer.

The Guardian has hired six new audio journalists to produce the podcast, which will run each weekday. According to the publishers, the podcast will bring listeners closer to its journalism and will be an essential part of the Guardian’s daily offering across its digital platforms.

The Guardian has hired Leo Hornak as the podcast’s executive producer. Leo is a journalist with experience making documentaries and news for BBC Radio 4, BBC World Service and This American Life.

The new podcast team includes deputy executive producer Nicole Jackson, a Guardian producer and director who previously worked as features editor on Guardian Weekend magazine and as a commissioning editor on G2, the Guardian’s daily features section; India Rakusen, who joins from BBC Digital Current Affairs as senior producer; and Mythili Rao, from The New Yorker Radio Hour, as lead producer. A further three new audio producers have also been hired for the podcast: Joshua Kelly, Elizabeth Cassin and Rachel Humphreys.

The Guardian is working with Acast as its official audio advertising partner and the launch advertiser will be Bose, producers of headphones and speaker systems.

The Guardian has been creating podcasts for more than a decade, with 10 podcast series currently running and a diverse back catalogue.

The Guardian's Football Weekly is consistently in the top 5 sports podcasts on iTunes. During this summer's World Cup games, the Football Daily podcast was the most downloaded Guardian podcast, with 3.2 million downloads, says The Guardian.

The Guardian produced 550 podcast episodes in the last year. The most popular Guardian podcasts include Football Weekly, Politics Weekly, Science Weekly, Brexit Means, A Neuroscientist Explains, The Reckoning, Culture Podcast, Books Podcast, Small Changes, The Start, Chips with everything, and Audio Long Reads.

Katharine Viner, editor-in-chief, Guardian News & Media said: “I am confident that The Guardian’s daily news podcast will become essential listening in our readers’ busy lives, bringing them even closer to our award-winning journalism. I can’t wait to hear Anushka every day - her broadcast experience and accessible style makes her the perfect host.”

David Pemsel, chief executive, Guardian Media Group said: “More than 50% of The Guardian’s revenues are now digital. This significant investment in audio journalism is an important part of our strategy to develop deeper relationships with our audiences and grow new revenue streams.”

Christian Bennett, executive editor of multimedia for The Guardian, said: “The Guardian has been making award-winning podcasts for over a decade - the word “podcasting” was even coined here. The new team bring with them a wealth of audio journalism experience, ensuring our new podcast will be a fresh listen, with high production values.”

Anushka Asthana, podcast host, said: “People are busy, but they want a deeper understanding of the world. We’ll be delving further into the big stories and cutting through the noise to take our listeners behind the headlines.”