MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, who quit hosting her nightly cable TV show to take on other projects, said she’s been working on a new historical non-fiction podcast that will be released this fall. In an interview with vanity loungeMaddow said the show would be similar to her previous podcast Men’s Bag but will take place during World War II.
“It’s an American story, an underrated story, that has resonance for all of these things we face today – the threat of authoritarianism and whether or not criminal law is the place appropriate, and has the right constitutional powers, to deal with those kinds of threats,” Maddow said. “It’s about journalism and journalistic ethics, and the ability of powerful people to manipulate American systems,” said Maddow. she told Vanity Fair amid stacks of archival documents and a whiteboard laying out key plot points.
The podcast will be the first project to be released by Maddow’s new production company, Surprise Inside. The podcast will also be a companion to an upcoming book to be published by Crown.
Maddow told Vanity Fair that she doesn’t consider her podcast projects successful or unsuccessful based on the number of downloads a show receives.
“It’s going to be a disappointing answer, but for me, success is doing a job that I’m proud of,” she said. “It’s about feeling free to do what I want, say what I want, talk about things I think are important, and contribute something that wouldn’t necessarily have been contributed if I hadn’t. been the only one I work there.”
Maddow hosted a radio talk show for the liberal talk network Air America in 2004 and 2005 and had the option of returning to full-time radio if NBCUniversal did not go along with his idea of changing its broadcast schedule to MSNBC. Vanity Fair reports that SiriusXM approached Maddow with a $40 million offer to host a weekly satellite radio show as well as first-look rights to all podcast projects Maddow creates.
Maddow, 49, still maintains the 9 p.m. ET/PT time slot on MSNBC on Mondays, but having the rest of the week to work on other projects means that in addition to her podcasts, she’s also working on a pair of television pilots and two potential films. NBCUniversal executives told Vanity Fair they believe the first TV project could appear in 2023.