The best New York political podcasts

The New York political podcasts you need to be listening to.
The New York political podcasts you need to be listening to.
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The New York political podcasts you need to be listening to.

The best New York political podcasts

A guide for all you political audiophiles.
February 20, 2020

In what may be an effort to appeal to underemployed Brooklynites before a likely run for borough president in 2021, Chirlane McCray, the first lady of New York City, has started a podcast. “Thrive with Chirlane McCray” is an audio component of her multifaceted campaign to promote mental health, and thus isn’t likely to deal directly with local politics. But that’s OK, because local politics hounds have an abundance of options – enough to fill that weekly commute to Albany and the return trip.

Though City & State did it first (the “Slant Podcast” lived a brief but glorious life from 2016 to 2017), here are the best successors delivering political wisdom to the masses’ playlists.

Podcast: Off Topic/On Politics: The NY1 Political Podcast

Hosts: NY1 reporters Zack Fink, Juan Manuel Benítez and Courtney Gross 

Updated: Weekly, on Fridays

Average episode: 30 minutes

The gist: First launched in 2018, these experienced reporters talk about the week’s political storylines, but aren’t afraid to let their perspectives and personalities shine through. Stick around till the end for the always entertaining “Most New York Thing of the Week.”

 

Podcast: FAQ NYC

Hosts: Christina Greer, Fordham political science professor; Harry Siegel, Daily News columnist; and Alex Brook Lynn, filmmaker

Updated: Weekly, on Thursdays

Average episode: 40 minutes

The gist: This interview-heavy Gen X political podcast is staffed by experts but maintains a pirate-radio feel with constant jokes and weird audio effects to keep you hooked. They’re always experimenting, jumping from the news of the day to Bad Old Days history and back again.

 

Podcast: House Party

Hosts: Kyle Ishmael, executive director of the Manhattan Democratic Party and the New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus; and Malik Wright, political director of the Manhattan Democratic Party

Updated: Weekly … usually. On Tuesdays

Average episode: 90 minutes

The gist: If you’ve ever wondered what New York political operatives talk about at the bar after work, then “House Party” is for you. The black, queer millenial duo of Kyle and Malik are true political obsessives, talking at length about topics from the national to the hyper-local, while also playing drinking games like “Elect, Indict, Chill.”

 

Podcast: Prickly Politics

Host: Julia Agos, WFUV News reporter

Updated: About every two weeks, during the season

Average episode: 25 minutes

The gist: You wouldn’t know these reporters are still undergrads if we didn’t tell you. The podcast gets tweaked every semester, but always goes deep on the latest news in state politics. Can’t-miss season 3 was formatted like a documentary on the culture of sexual harassment and assault in the state Capitol.

 

Podcast: You Decide with Errol Louis

Host: Errol Louis, NY1 political anchor

Updated: Weekly, on Wednesdays

Average episode: 40 minutes

The gist: Here, the esteemed “Inside City Hall” host is cut loose from the restraints of TV and goes longer on a new interview each week, with guests ranging from Bill Clinton to chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov. Louis is at his best when he draws from his experiences as a political operative before entering journalism.

 

Podcast: Max & Murphy

Hosts: Ben Max, executive editor of Gotham Gazette; and Jarrett Murphy, executive editor of City Limits

Updated: Weekly, on Wednesdays

Average episode: 55 minutes

The gist: These two editors of small-but-mighty news outlets have a weekly radio show breaking down city politics on WBAI, but you can also find bite-sized chunks of their analysis and interviews on the podcast. They couldn’t be nicer guys, but don’t tell that to their quivering guests.

 

Podcast: City Journal’s 10 Blocks

Host: Brian C. Anderson, editor of City Journal

Updated: Weekly, on Wednesdays

Average episode: 20 minutes

The gist: An erudite podcast with a conservative slant, this product from the Manhattan Institute think tank is just as likely to look at national issues as local, but its weekly interviews have tackled everything from New York City schools Chancellor Richard Carranza’s leadership to the potential effects of closing Rikers Island.

 

Podcast: New York NOW

Host: Dan Clark, New York NOW host

Updated: Weekly, on Fridays

Average episode: 25 minutes

The gist: Move over, NPR. The weekly TV show from the PBS affiliate WMHT in Schenectady is also available as a podcast. It’s interviews, it’s analysis, and, unlike the rest of these podcasts, it’s actually based upstate. 

Want more political listening? We can’t forget The Capitol Pressroom, the public radio show recorded live from the LCA that’s also available as a podcast. Nothing Urgent, co-hosted by former City & Stater Derek Evers, hits on local politics among its arts and music coverage. And though Big Shot focuses on the presidential race, it’s hosted by former New York State Dems executive director Charlie King and features some big names in local politics.

Jeff Coltin
is a senior reporter at City & State. He covers New York City Hall.
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