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The duo will co-host The Handoff, a new weekly podcast being produced by the cable news channel. It will be available with a subscription to the CNN channel on Apple Podcasts when Apple Podcasts Subscriptions debuts this month.
The Handoff is based on the unscripted “handoff” conversations that Cuomo and Lemon have at the end of Cuomo’s 9 p.m. program Cuomo Prime Time, leading into Lemon’s 10 p.m. show CNN Tonight.
“If you want unscripted, honest conversations about what matters, what you’re talking about, the way you talk about it — then listen to this podcast,” Lemon tells The Hollywood Reporter. “If you’re not easily offended, then this is the podcast for you. If you are easily offended, then this is definitely the podcast for you. We’re going to toughen you up.”
The banter between the two occasionally makes news on its own, as it did a few weeks ago after Cuomo interviewed former Republican Sen. Rick Santorum over offensive remarks he made about Native Americans. The on-air conversation between the pair was picked up by a number of outlets.
“I cannot believe the first words out of his mouth weren’t, ‘I’m sorry, I said something ignorant’ … did he think it was a good idea to come on television and whitewash the whitewash that he whitewashed? It was horrible,” Lemon said. “I apologize to the viewers who were insulted by this. I was sitting in my office, furious, because he’s done it so many times.”
“Ya gotta do more than just echo the outrage at what he says, find out where it comes from,” Cuomo responded.
“I’m not echoing the outrage, I don’t even know about the outrage,” Lemon said in response.
“Yes you do, that’s where you’re wrong,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo notes to THR, “Why does the chat between Don and me get so much attention? Why has it become must-see TV with lots of people tuning in? This podcast is the answer. It is all real thoughts and questions and disagreements that are often glossed over in the media.”
The Handoff is the latest in a series of new podcasts being launched by CNN in recent weeks. The channel also launched Behind the Desk: The Story of Late Night (a companion to its late night TV docuseries), as well as a new podcast hosted by chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. More new podcasts are in the hopper as well, as the channel as it seeks to grow its digital revenue streams.
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