Bloomberg Politics Unveils New ‘Masters in Politics,’ ‘Culture Caucus’ Podcasts

Bloomberg Politics is launching two new podcasts — “Masters in Politics,” hosted by Tammy Haddad and Betsy Fischer Martin; and “Culture Caucus,” hosted by John Heilemann and Will Leitch.

The podcasts will each post biweekly, starting with “Culture Caucus” on Friday. The show explores the intersection of politics and pop culture, with venture capitalist Fred Wilson as guest, and the shake-up in late-night political comedy.

Heilemann is managing editor of Bloomberg Politics and Leitch is contributor/writer.

“Masters in Politics” will feature interviews with candidates, strategists and campaign journalists. The first guest will be Jeb Bush, whose interview will be released online on Tuesday. Another guest will be J. Ann Selzer, Bloomberg Politics and Des Moines Register pollster.

Haddad, former executive producer of MSNBC’s “Hardball,” and Fischer Martin, former executive producer of “Meet the Press,” launched the podcast “Trail Talk” last year, with interviews with such figures as Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina and Lindsey Graham.

Even though many news outlets are vying for interviews with candidates, Haddad and Fischer Martin say that they are also looking for places where they can have an extended conversation. The podcasts usually are 30- to 60- minutes in length.

“It is different from a cable news hit,” Fischer Martin said.

Haddad said that a podcast offers an intimacy that listeners can’t get in other media. Candidates talk about about things, such as what formed their ideology and what motivates them — topics that won’t get stale after one news cycle.

“Culture Caucus” will reflect the fact that “politics intersects with pretty much everything in our lives,” Heilemann said. The show will be an extension of Leitch’s beat. He’s covered sports, entertainment and technology, but has written about the increasingly crossover by candidates into the non-political realm to reach audiences. He points to a recent example: Ted Cruz tweeting out a clip of he “jump the shark” episode from “Happy Days” when responding to Donald Trump.

Heilemann noted that “one of the things that is really true is we are living in a world where there is not much distinction between high and low culture.” Candidates now appear on “Saturday Night Live,” “Meet the Press” and “Monday Night Football,” and the ability to perform on all those shows “is a quality we expect from our presidents,” he said.

The podcasts are a first for Bloomberg Politics, which has platforms that include the news site, digital video and the nightly TV show “With All Due Respect.” Bloomberg has a number of business podcasts, including “Masters in Business” hosted by Barry Ritholtz.

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