Slate Group EIC, Malcolm Gladwell Launch Audio Company

Slate Group chairman and editor-in-chief Jacob Weisberg is leaving the company after 22 years to launch an audio company with writer Malcolm Gladwell.

The new, unnamed company will handle production for Gladwell’s two podcasts, “Revisionist History” and “Broken Record.” It will also focus on developing podcasts, audiobooks and short-form audio content.

Weisberg is cohost of Slate’s “Trumpcast" podcast. (He noted on Twitter that he will no longer be on the show.) He has served as chairman and editor-in-chief of the Slate Group for a decade.

"The thing in the last two years I have enjoyed the most has been working on podcasts and audio programming, developing the shows with Malcolm,” Weisberg told The New York Times.

Weisberg announced the move via Twitter on Wednesday.

For now, the new audio venture will be funded by Gladwell and Weisberg, the Times reports.

Slate leadership will now report directly to Graham Holdings, which was The Washington Post Company until it was renamed in 2013. Slate president and vice chairman Dan Check will step in as interim CEO. 

Weisberg and Gladwell have known each other for decades; they lived together in Washington at the start of their careers, the Times reports.

Slate’s sister company, Panoply, also has big news: It is stepping "out of the content business.” Panoply produced original shows (like “The Message” and “Family Ghosts”) and handled ad sales for a portfolio of podcasts.

Now, it will focus solely on its podcast hosting and ad services business and no longer develop new podcasts.

The company is letting go of its entire editorial staff. The last day for most staff will be September 28. Some of Panoply’s producers and shows will move to Slate, while others will relocate elsewhere.

Its sales team will focus on selling into its Megaphone Targeted Marketplace (MTM), a demographic audience targeting system. It will no longer provide direct ad sales services for individual shows.

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