Persephonica announces Gen Z news podcast

New show produced in partnership with The News Movement

Audio production company Persephonica is launching a new current affairs podcast targeted at younger audiences, created in partnership with Gen Z media brand The News Movement.

The announcement was made at the Radio Academy Festival yesterday during a session moderated by host of the podcast, radio presenter Mary Mandefield, and Persephonica producers Ellie Clifford and Xanthe Palmer. Mandefield also hosts The News Movement’s mini-series Make It Make Sense on YouTube. 

The new podcast is titled Noted, and represents The News Movement’s first foray into podcasting. Its first episode launches across all major podcast platforms on 4 October and will continue releasing weekly. Its aim is to break down news headlines to Gen Z listeners in a long-form documentary format, which allows them to go in-depth with topics such as plastic surgery - which Mandefield tells PodPod will be the subject of the first episode. 

“We learned a lot from the Dua Lipa [At Your Service] podcast and the activism that she features; there’s a real appetite from young people who want to hear these stories,” said Clifford. “What we’re trying to do is create a space for The News Movement to bring in young experts to talk about these stories in longer form.” 

“I jumped at the chance of working with Persephonica because I’ve been a big fan of [CEO and co-founder Dino Sofos] before Persephonica even fully developed, and I think he’s one of those people who always believed and understood that I had something important to say before I’d established my career and before I’d even started as a journalist,” Mandefield told PodPod. “And to work with producers like Ellie and Xanthe who have a really clear track record of podcasts just hitting the mark, reaching the right audiences, and having impact is something that’s really important to me.” 

Each episode will also feature input from an expert such as a medical doctor, and someone with lived experience on the topic that’s being discussed. Social media will also be essential to the podcast’s strategy, Mandefield told PodPod, with video clips being used to promote it across different channels. The News Movement already has a big following online, with nearly 170,000 followers on TikTok and nearly 30,000 followers on Instagram. 

“It won’t be the kind of podcast where you sit and watch the whole episode, but hopefully you get enough of an appetite that you will go ahead and listen, and you’ll get to know me as the host, our contributors, and our experts,” said Mandefield. “Socials are really important and anyone creating a podcast and not thinking about socials is probably missing a trick somewhere.”

Noted is the latest podcast to join Persephonica’s new slate of shows, closely following economics podcast Political Currency with ex-politicians Ed Balls and George Osborne which launches this week. Sofos also told Deadline that the company is currently working on an untitled limited series about slavery reparations, hosted by BBC World News journalist Laura Trevelyan and Labour politician Clive Lewis. 

The new slate is part of Persephonica’s strategy to expand its audience, having also recently signed with talent and media agency WME to grow its presence in the US and link with talent in the region. The company is further planning to expand its presence in the UK beyond London, and will soon be opening a new office in Sheffield. 

“What I really love about Persophonica is that they are aimed to be diverse from the inside and out, and it's not performative,” said Palmer, who is based in Sheffield and presents at BBC Radio Sheffield. “We’re going across the country and not just hearing voices that are southern.”