In the first defection from the subscription podcast app Luminary, political consultant and former Obama administration senior advisor David Axelrod is returning The Axe Files its previous home with CNN Audio later this month just as the 2020 political season heats up. In a statement, Axelrod didn’t offer any explanation for the decision, but did note his shows will once again be available without the need to pay for a subscription.
“My thanks to my friends at Luminary for a great experience and exposure to this grand, new rising platform,” said Axelrod. “I wish you all the best! I am excited to announce that The Axe Files will return to its original home at CNN Audio and will be available for free wherever you download your podcasts.” Axelrod has become a frequent face on CNN where he serves as a Senior Political Analyst.
Axelrod had been among the first hosts to sign-on as a Luminary exclusive when the podcast platform launched last April. The company hasn’t released any information about how many users it has. But Amplifi Media CEO Steve Goldstein said in a blog post that in an environment where there are growing options for content, Alexrod faced the risk of losing—not gaining—listeners.
The Axe Files is a co-production with the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics. In the past year it has featured guests such as Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama, Tom Hanks, John McCain, Charles Barkley, Condoleezza Rice and nearly every 2020 democratic presidential candidate.