Noel King - Vox

Vox Media’s Today, Explained is getting a new co-host as it casts its sights on distribution to broadcast radio. Vox has hired NPR veteran Noel King to join the daily news podcast as co-host and editorial director of the series. She will partner with current co-host and Vox Audio creative director Sean Rameswaram.

“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,” said King in a statement. “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.”

Vox says King will help set its direction on a new chapter of growth, developing special series, and reporting ambitious stories. She starts at Vox Jan. 3 and will begin appearing on the podcast early next year.

King most recently has been a co-host of NPR’s “Morning Edition” and its Up First morning news podcast. 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. In 2020, the Radio Hall of Fame honored her with its “One to Watch” award.

“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,” said Rameswaram.

Vox Media also announced a partnership with WNYC Studios to distribute Today, Explained to public radio stations nationwide beginning in 2022. The partnership marks the first major broadcast radio distribution partnership for Vox Media, following an hour-long special edition of the Vox podcast Unexplainable distributed by American Public Media this fall.

“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 Vox VP Liz Kelly Nelson.

Vox Media is already looking at what other podcasts could work on radio. It says it is collaborating with WNYC Studios to identify additional shows in its portfolio to bring to a national radio audience.

WNYC Studios already manages radio distribution of popular programs that straddle the line between podcast and broadcast, including Radiolab, Freakonomics Radio, On Being, and The New Yorker Radio Hour.

“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, and sits perfectly alongside other WNYC Studios shows.”

Today, Explained launched in 2018 with Rameswaram as host, and has released nearly 1,000 episodes.