Vox VPs Allison Rockey and Liz Kelly Nelson today announced that broadcast journalist Noel King is joining Today, Explained, the network’s flagship daily news podcast, as co-host and editorial director. In addition to hosting the show that tackles domestic policy, the Fyre Festival of vaccine rollouts, falling in love with a bot, and everything in between, with Vox’s singular approach to explanatory journalism (and an original song from time to time), King will help set its direction on a new chapter of growth, developing special series, reporting ambitious stories, and more. King will partner with Today, Explained co-host and Vox Audio creative director Sean Rameswaram; the two will share hosting duties, allowing each to continue pursuing longer-term projects and growing Today, Explained’s ability to reach audiences across platforms. King starts at Vox on January 3, 2022, and will begin appearing on the podcast early next year.
Vox Media also announced a partnership with WNYC Studios to distribute Today, Explained to public radio stations nationwide beginning in 2022. This partnership marks the first major terrestrial radio distribution partnership for Vox Media, following an hour-long special edition of the Vox podcast Unexplainable distributed by American Public Media this fall.
King joins Vox from NPR, where she was a co-host of Morning Edition and Up First. A restless journalist, she reported from around the US even while occupying the host chair. She was part of a team of NPR journalists who won an Edward R. Murrow Award, and were finalists for the duPont-Columbia Award, for reporting on the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy. King’s reporting from Minneapolis after George Floyd’s murder won a Gracie Award for best feature interview. King also conducted live coverage of national elections, an inauguration, and an impeachment or two.
In 2020, the Radio Hall of Fame honored her with its “One to Watch” award.
Before King joined Morning Edition, her career spanned a range of roles in radio, including stints as a correspondent at Planet Money, a producer at The Takeaway, and a reporter at Marketplace. She began her career as an independent producer abroad. Over five years, she covered the Arab Spring and conflicts in Darfur, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo for Voice of America and PRI’s The World.
“I have been listening to Today, Explained since the show first launched, and I’ve always admired its intellectual sharpness, sonic creativity, and dry sense of humor. I’m thrilled to be joining the talented journalists who make the show. Sean’s ambitions, and those of this team, are clearly boundless, and I can’t wait to add my own to the mix,” said King.
“I guess this makes me the queen of Today, Explained?” said Sean Rameswaram. “In all seriousness, I am thrilled to welcome Noel King to the show as a co-host and an editorial lead. I’m already used to listening to her every day on the radio. Now I get to learn from her, make great stuff with her, and dream up even more ambitious projects with her and the rest of the phenomenal team at Today, Explained.”
WNYC Studios, which will begin distributing Today, Explained in 2022, currently manages radio distribution of popular programs including Radiolab, Freakonomics, On Being, On the Media, and Science Friday. Further, WNYC Studios will collaborate with the Vox Media Podcast Network to identify additional shows in its portfolio to bring to a national radio audience.
“We’re excited to partner with Vox to bring Today, Explained to public radio stations across the United States,” said Armando Gutierrez, Chief Financial Officer at New York Public Radio. “Its intelligent and irreverent daily half hour look at the news and personalities driving our world is critical at this moment.”
“Today, Explained has always been about bringing context and understanding to the news and our world. A big part of that has been a belief that elevating voices of local journalists and subject matter experts where the stories are unfolding is key. Now we look forward to working with our partners at WNYC to bring our show to communities and listeners across the country,” said Liz Kelly Nelson.
Today, Explained launched in 2018 with Rameswaram as host, and has released nearly 1,000 episodes. It was named Best News Podcast in the Podcast Academy’s inaugural Ambie Awards and the 2021 Webby Awards. The podcast has launched special series, including Today, Explained to Kids, Infrastructure Week, and The Future of Work. It has also helped incubate new shows from Vox Audio, including Unexplainable, a science podcast about everything we don’t know.
About Vox Media Podcast Network:
Named by Adweek as 2021’s “Hottest in Podcasts,” Vox Media Podcast Network has over 150 active shows featuring industry-leading editorial voices and storytellers from Vox Media’s networks and beyond. From daily news and tech to culture and sports, from talk and interview shows to news and rich narrative storytelling, the Vox Media Podcast Network is one of the largest, fastest-growing, and most topically diverse collections of premium podcasts. Learn more about the Vox Media Podcast Network here.