Friday, April 12

Andrew Cuomo to host new weekly podcast, leaves door open to politics

Photo illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios. Photo: Carlo Allegri-Pool/Getty Images

Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is launching a new podcast on the subscription podcast platform Quake, he told Axios.

Why it matters: It’s the former governor’s first major public undertaking since resigning last year in the wake of a sexual harassment scandal.

Details: The new hour-long show, called “As a Matter of Fact,” will debut weekly on Thursdays, beginning this week.

  • The show’s first guest is former White House communications director and Wall Street financier Anthony Scaramucci.
  • The first two episodes will be free, but the others will be paywalled, Cuomo said. The podcast, which will be recorded in Manhattan, will also be available as a video.
  • The show will feature radio-like call-ins, Cuomo said. A big part of what he wants to do, he says, is “hear from people — their questions, their issues — and have that dialogue.”
  • While Cuomo declined to disclose the exact terms of the deal, he said he has “a compensation arrangement” with Quake as a part of a one-year deal.
  • The company will promote the new podcast with paid social media advertising, Cuomo said.

The show will cover news of the day as well as policy solutions, Cuomo said. In an interview, the former governor stressed an emphasis on fact-based coverage of the news.

  • “There’s a fundamental problem with the entire system here,” Cuomo said. “We have such division of people and we have such dysfunction of government, and part of it is this hyper-partisan, extreme dialogue that goes on.”
  • Topics Cuomo intends to cover include events like the FBI’s execution of a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago over the summer, as well as policy issues like guns and immigration.
  • “Those issues I want to address in a deep substantive way,” he said, noting that he plans to bring on fewer politicians as guests and more nonpartisan experts.

Catch up quick: Quake launched two years ago with $2.5 million in seed funding. It debuted with six exclusive politics shows. It later raised an additional $3.5 million in 2021.

  • Today, it distributes six podcasts, including Cuomo’s, that are all politics and news. One of its six original shows, “Get the News with Gretchen Carlson,” no longer airs on the platform.
  • The company declined to reveal any updated subscriber numbers or any financial or employee figures.

Asked why he chose to start a podcast as his first major venture since resigning, Cuomo said, “There is a liberation that I feel.”

  • “Not only can I tell the unvarnished truth, but I can tell the unvarnished truth without any worry about any ramifications to my ability to do my job, you know? So that I’m enjoying.”
  • “I don’t have an editor so I feel good about that,” Cuomo joked.

The big picture: Cuomo didn’t rule out a return to politics.

  • For now, he said, he’s focused on launching his podcast, as well as a new gun control campaign and political action committee geared toward “getting quality people back into office.”
  • “Down the road, we’ll figure it out,” he said.

Asked if he would run as a Democrat, Cuomo said he remains loyal to his party, but his party has changed.

  • “I am a Democrat,” he said. “The question is of identity for the Democratic party. … I do believe we have an extreme left, that in many ways deals in the ideal, rather than in the real, but I am a progressive Democrat.”

Between the lines: Asked about the sexual harassment scandal that forced him to resign last year, Cuomo said, “I think I’ve learned from the entire situation.”

  • “There is a new sensitivity that I didn’t fully appreciate that some people have, and some people have a new sense of cultural boundaries that I didn’t appreciate enough,” he said.

What to watch: More politicians are using podcasts as a way to reach new audiences or plot a comeback.

  • Cuomo’s younger brother Chris Cuomo, who was fired from CNN last year in the wake of his own scandal, launched a podcast and a digital show this summer. He joined News Nation officially as an anchor during his old time slot of 9pm in October.

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