Washington, D.C. (July 21, 2017)—Today The Atlantic premieres “Radio Atlantic,” the flagship show on its new podcast platform. Co-hosted by editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg, executive editor Matt Thompson, and contributing editor Alex Wagner, the new weekly show will draw upon The Atlantic’s 160 years of history, combined with the perspective of today’s sharpest journalists, to interpret the news as it happens. Each episode will hone in on a theme and incorporate a revolving cast of voices from The Atlantic’s masthead and beyond.
The pilot episode, “Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory,” grapples with the question of the past, present, and future of the American idea—which has been at the center of what The Atlantic has sought to understand and explain in its century and a half of publication.
Radio Atlantic’s emphasis on history begins with its theme music: jazz musician and Late Show with Stephen Colbert bandleader Jon Batiste collaborated with The Atlantic to reinterpret the iconic “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” the lyrics of which were first published on the cover of The Atlantic in February 1862. As Goldberg explains in the podcast, the “Battle Hymn” outlived the Civil War and is patriotism manifest in rhyme; generations of Americans have turned to it for comfort and inspiration in times of triumph and trial.
The pilot episode features an interview with Batiste about the making of his “Battle Hymn” interpretation (and see more in a video of Batiste at TheAtlantic.com). Also in the first episode: conversations with The Atlantic’s David Frum and Molly Ball about this question of the American idea and their most recent reporting.
Frum, whose March 2017 cover story “How to Build an Autocracy” continues to reverberate, discusses how the early months of the Trump presidency compare with his expectations so far, whether this moment in American politics likens to the calamitous years of the Civil War, and the future of the party system. Frum says: “The party system [may have] stopped describing the country very well in the way that it stopped describing a country in the 1850s. And I don’t know that the Republican Party as it existed before 2016 can emerge again after this.”
Ball, who writes extensively on national politics, details the sentiment of Trump’s support seven months in. “These core Trump supporters won when he won the election. ...Merely by winning and by putting his enemies in their place, he has given them what they wanted. And in that sense, their expectations for the next four years are pretty low.”
Qualcomm is the exclusive sponsor of the first season of Radio Atlantic.
About The Atlantic:
Founded in 1857 and today one of the fastest growing media platforms in the industry, The Atlantic has throughout its history championed the power of big ideas and continues to shape global debate across print, digital, events, and video platforms. With its award-winning digital presence TheAtlantic.com and CityLab.com on cities around the world, The Atlantic is a multimedia forum on the most critical issues of our times—from politics, business, urban affairs, and the economy, to technology, arts, and culture. The Atlantic is celebrating its 160th anniversary this year. Bob Cohn is president of The Atlantic and Jeffrey Goldberg is editor in chief.
About Radio Atlantic:
We’re living in historic times. Who better than a 160-year-old magazine to help you make sense of them? Each week, The Atlantic's top editors—Jeffrey Goldberg, editor in chief; Matt Thompson, deputy editor; and Alex Wagner, contributing editor and CBS anchor—sit down with leading voices to explore what's happening in the world, how things became the way they are, and where they're going next.
About the Hosts:
Jeffrey Goldberg: Jeffrey Goldberg is editor in chief of The Atlantic, a position he was appointed to in October 2016. An award-winning journalist, his work focuses on the Middle East and North Africa, and he has conducted interviews with high-profile figures and heads of state including Barack Obama, David Cameron, Benjamin Netanyahu, John Kerry, Manuel Valls, and King Abdullah II of Jordan. Goldberg’s recent Atlantic cover story, “The Obama Doctrine,” discusses President Obama’s perspective about the changing role of the United States in the Middle East. He was previously a national correspondent for the The Atlantic and wrote for The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, and New York magazine.
Matt Thompson: Matt Thompson is executive editor of The Atlantic, a role he assumed in July 2017. He was deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com since joining the company in January 2015. Previously, he spent five years at NPR, where as director of vertical initiatives, he launched and supervised teams of broadcast and digital journalists covering race, ethnicity and culture, education, and global health and development. Prior to NPR, Thompson worked for the Knight Foundation, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Fresno Bee, and the Poynter Institute. He is the vice-chairman of the board of the Center for Public Integrity and a co-founder of Spark Camp.
Alex Wagner: Alex Wagner is a contributing editor to The Atlantic and host of CBS This Morning: Saturday. Previously, she hosted MSNBC’s Emmy-nominated “NOW with Alex Wagner” and was a frequent guest host on MSNBC prime-time shows. Wagner’s publishing career also includes working as a reporter with Huffington Post, as White House correspondent for Politics Daily, and as editor in chief of the award-winning Fader Magazine.