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Times titles launch daily news podcast with BBC journalist brought in to present

The Times and Sunday Times have become the latest titles to launch a daily news podcast, with a BBC News journalist hired to present it.

Stories of our Times will be available from March, going live every weekday at 6am and running to roughly 25 minutes. It promises to take listeners inside an agenda-setting story by one of the two titles.

Times editor John Witherow said the podcast is a “logical development” for Times Newspapers. It joins a number of recent podcast launches by news publishers as they seek to attract new audiences through audio.

Manveen Rana (pictured) will host the daily podcast. She currently works as a senior broadcast journalist at the BBC, including for BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, and has spent almost 17 years at the corporation.

Rana was part of the BBC World at One team shortlisted for an expose of PR firm Bell Pottinger’s influence on South African politics at the British Journalism Awards 2017.

She also worked on the investigation that revealed sexual harassment claims at the top level of the Save the Children charity.

Rana said: “We will be bringing together some of the best and most trusted journalism from The Times, with the depth and the compelling storytelling that you can create with a podcast.

“For anyone trying to navigate the modern world, that’s a godsend.”

Eight producers have also been hired for the launch, including former Today and This American Life journalist Leo Hornak as executive producer.

Witherow said: “Our readers trust our award-winning journalists to navigate a complex world for them, and we are constantly innovating to ensure we’re telling those stories in the most compelling way.”

The podcast has been launched in partnership with Wireless Studios, which produces podcasts for Times owner News UK.

Wireless Studios managing director Jimmy Buckland said the show would create a “new route for our advertising and sponsorship partners to connect with high value news consumers”.

Press Gazette reported last year how UK newsbrands were following in the footsteps of New York Times’ The Daily, which pioneered daily news podcasts when it launched in 2017.

UK daily news podcasts now include the Guardian’s Today in Focus, the Evening Standard’s The Leader, Sky News Daily, The Intelligence by The Economist, the FT News Briefing, and Beyond Today by the BBC.

The Times’ existing podcasts include Giles Coren Has No Idea, and Matt Chorley’s inside look at politics with Red Box.

Picture: News UK

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