Last week, the UChicago Institute of Politics (IOP) and CNN announced a new partnership that will promote The Axe Files, a podcast hosted by Davi Axelrod, former senior adviser to President Obama, current CNN senior political commentator, and director of the IOP. The Axe Files was launched in September 2015 at the IOP, which Axelrod founded three years ago.
The podcast consists of a collection of conversations with key players in the political world, including Bernie Sanders, Mitt Romney, Nancy Pelosi, and Spike Lee. The podcast has been downloaded nearly 900,000 times to date and was praised by The A.V. Club as “an intimate and engaging discussion podcast.” The podcast was the highest new entry on the iTunes Charts at number 36 on the day it launched in partnership with CNN.
“When we started this podcast, I envisioned it as a chance to provide rare insights into some of the smartest people in politics, a way to give listeners a richer sense of who these people are and what they do. With its growing podcast network, CNN is a perfect fit for this program, especially in this fascinating election year,” Axelrod said in a February 23 CNN press release.
The partnership will group Axelrod’s podcast with a dozen other podcasts put out by CNN, most of which are audio versions of CNN television programs.
In an interview with Robert Siegel, host of NPR’s All Things Considered, Axelrod said, “You know, all my life I’ve been involved in conversations with people in politics and public life, and they’ve always been really interesting to me. And this whole podcast world gives me a chance to have these conversations and share them with other people.”