Ron Steslow, a political strategist who hosted the Lincoln Project podcast, is launching a new podcast company called Politicology, promising “blinderless politics.”
Why is this important: His company could capture a wide audience seeking to understand America’s troubled political undercurrents.
The big picture: It comes amid a transition and crisis for the Lincoln Project, a wildly successful anti-Trump advocacy group started by Republicans and former Republicans, which has raised millions for viral ads and memes. advocating the election of Joe Biden.
- On Sunday, the New York Times published a story that another Lincoln Project co-founder, John Weaver, was accused of sexual harassment by 21 young men. The Lincoln Project disavowed Weaver’s actions in a statement.
- Steslow and co-founder Mike Madrid resigned from The Lincoln Project in December.
- George Conway, another co-founder, said he was taking a leave of absence from the band in August.
Driving the news: Politicology will launch on February 3 as a standalone podcast on the same RSS feed where the Lincoln Project podcast was previously available, sources told Axios.
- It will air twice a week, focusing on the social forces that contributed to the rise of Trumpism and the Capitol insurrection on January 6.
- “It’s politics without the blinders on,” Steslow says in a trailer played for Axios. “The storming of the Capitol was a heartbreaking reminder that the fight for the soul of our democracy is not over.”
- Steslow says in the trailer that he will speak with doctors, behavioral economists, demographers, philosophers, anthropologists, historians and poets for the podcast “to broaden our view of what is politics”.
- Steslow is bringing some members of his production team with him, sources told Axios. Prior to joining The Lincoln Project, Steslow founded Tusk Inc., a political consulting firm.
Catch up fast: The Lincoln Project was founded in late 2019. Its podcast, hosted by Steslow, launched in mid-June last year and was an almost immediate hit. Its popularity helped the band expand its customer base.
- As Axios previously noted, the podcast has consistently ranked among the top podcasts on Apple in news and politics. It has had around 1.5 million downloads per month.
- “The Lincoln Project Podcast 2.0 has spent the last few weeks in production and we will be unveiling new episodes shortly,” a Lincoln Project spokesperson told Axios.
- “(W)e consider the podcast and our other vertical media such as LPTV to be fundamental elements of The Lincoln Project. We will also be announcing an expansion of LPTV programming in the coming weeks. “
And after: Sources say Steslow plans to launch more series, which will require more staff in the future. The company’s website is politicology.com.
- The podcast will be available on all podcast platforms on the same RSS feed where The Lincoln Project podcast was previously available. It’s unclear which Lincoln Project podcast projects are moving forward.
- When reached for comment, Steslow said: “The number one question we get from our listening community is, ‘Where do we go from here? Exploring the answers to this question is precisely the work we will do together on Politicology.”