Paula Faris recently served as one of the co-hosts on ABC’s “The View.” Now she’s about to examine a different kind of perspective.
The ABC News journalist will launch a new podcast, “Journeys of Faith,” during which she will interview influential people and talk to them about how they’ve used faith and spirituality at crucial moments in their lives. The first three episodes will be released Wednesday, November 14 and feature interviews with “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts; country-music artists Luke Bryan and Hillary Scott; and political commentator Ben Shapiro. Other first-season guests who have been slated include Kellyanne Conway, Tim Tebow, Reza Aslan, Sam Harris, Marla Maples, Sherri Shepherd and Melissa Joan Hart.
“My faith is my rock and foundation. It’s been the glue of my marriage when I wanted to walk, it’s grounded me in triumph, and carried me through tragedy. I honestly don’t know where I’d be without it, and I know there are so many who feel the same way,” Faris said via an email exchange. She added: “In covering news and sports the better part of 25 years, I know firsthand we just don’t talk to our interviewees about their faith. Tell us about your latest project. Tell us about that controversial statement you made. Tell us about that game-winning catch. But, just don’t tell us about God, Allah or Jesus, etc. There’s no mainstream media platform that’s giving people the platform and opportunity to talk about what they believe and why they believe it. That is, until now.”
The first season of ‘Journeys of Faith’ will feature ten episodes, posting every Wednesday. Episodes will be available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, Spotify, Stitcher and the ABC News app. ABC News has in recent months placed new emphasis on podcasting, which has gained new interest from a variety of media companies as consumers flock to the format. Pew Research found in July that 44% of Americans ages 12 and older said they have ever listened to a podcast, according to Edison Research and Triton Digital survey data, while 26% said they have listened to a podcast in the past month, compared with just 9% in 2008.
ABC News in late March launched a podcast called “Start Here,” a twenty-minute session hosted by Brad Mielke that taps ABC News personnel to offer insight on events shaping the world. The Disney-owned news outlet has experimented with new kinds of digital audio for a few years, launching an ABC News audio channel on the ABC News app about three years ago.
Faris in July said she would leave her roles on “The View” and a co-anchor on the weekend edition of “Good Morning America” to focus on doing stories of greater consequence. “This is a passion project of mine so I’m incredibly involved in the process,” she said. “It’s a new venture and the team helping put this together has been incredible – we’re all learning together and committed to its success.”
Booking guests for the venture has been easy, she added. “I’m finding there’s a real hunger to talk about one’s personal faith.”
The podcast has conjured up memories from her past. “I’m going back to my college radio days, so it’s been a treat. I’ve long maintained that TV can be cumbersome to produce – it’s a lot of effort from many, for a few moments on screen,” she said. ” In the audio space, especially in the podcast format, there’s something so intimate about the medium and the conversations you’re able to have. Come as you are, don’t worry about your exterior. We’re talking about the interior: matters of your heart and mind.”
She is eager to speak to people of different beliefs. “We’ll speak with those practicing Christianity, Orthodox Judaism, Islam and Atheism,” she said, adding: “This podcast is an opportunity to listen and learn from one another – respecting that faith is the core and foundation for so many, yet no two faith journeys look alike. I hope listeners will also be encouraged and inspired by the stories.”
Faris wants listeners “to feel like they’re a fly on the wall and right there in the room with us.” Subsequent episodes will be released on Wednesdays. The first season will feature ten.