CLEVELAND, Ohio – Change is coming to the daily news podcast of cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer.
Beginning Monday, This Week in the CLE will be rebranded as Today in Ohio – a name that more accurately reflects the content and growing audience of our show, which draws from our daily news coverage across the region and state government.
Cleveland.com launched the podcast two-and-a-half years ago as a weekly roundup of the big stories hitting our website and print edition. In that first iteration, reporters and editors dropped in as guests to talk about their work, focused largely on Northeast Ohio.
Then, the pandemic began, and the popularity of podcasts exploded, as people stayed home and turned to audio content for news and entertainment. This Week in the CLE responded to that demand. The podcast went to five days a week, connecting listeners to the rapidly evolving news of the early pandemic, and adopted a regular panel of editors as co-hosts with cleveland.com Editor Chris Quinn. Among them was now-retired Politics Editor Jane Kahoun, whose breadth of institutional knowledge and management of cleveland.com’s Columbus bureau broadened the podcast’s focus on statewide issues.
Today, podcast hosts include Quinn, content director Laura Johnston, editorial board member Lisa Garvin and me. Our audience has grown month over month, a trend that Quinn attributes to the podcast’s ability to meet our listeners’ need for thoughtful, civil discussion about the important issues of the day.
“This thing has been successful beyond our wildest imagination,” Quinn said in a recent conversation. “We keep hearing from people that they use this as their exclusive source of news. They feel like when they listen to this each day, they are caught up on the major stories. And they very much like the way we do it — that we are talking about the stories behind the stories, and we’re throwing the flag when public officials say things that are nonsense.”
But the podcast’s name – suggesting a weekly roundup of Cleveland news — no longer matches its focus. So, after internal discussions and gathering listener feedback on a potential rebranding, Today in Ohio is ready for its debut.
Loyal listeners will be pleased to know that their subscription to the podcast will remain unaffected by the name change, and our new clever logo will look quite similar to the original. But for prospective listeners who stumble upon us wherever they get their podcasts, the new moniker will better convey our growing focus on statewide news.
In the coming year, Quinn said, the podcast will aim to engage with its audience in new and unconventional ways, perhaps even by hosting live discussions with listeners.
“That’s what makes this a fun podcast — it’s a conversation that everyone feels they’re a part of,” Quinn said. “We have a good time. It’s civil. We like each other. It’s not polarized with discord. And people want that. … We’re so grateful that people find some value in this. I love having a morning chat every day with smart people who have insight.”
You can listen to my entire conversation with Quinn about the podcast’s name change here.
Or listen online here.
You’ve been sending Chris lots of thoughts and suggestions on our from-the-newsroom text account, in which he shares what we’re thinking about at cleveland.com. You can sign up for free by sending a text to 216-868-4802.
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