BBC launches a Today spinoff podcast to lure young listeners to Radio 4’s flagship news show amid dwindling audience figures

  • New podcast Beyond Today will be announced by James Purnell on Tuesday
  • The show will be available every weekday at 5pm in short 20-minute episodes 
  • It comes after the Today show’s figures fell from 7.8million to 6.7million in a year

BBC Radio 4’s flagship news programme is set to launch a new podcast in a bid to attract a younger audience.

The Today programme, which has lost more than a million listeners in a year, will publish its spinoff show Beyond Today for the first time on Monday.

The podcast, aimed at a younger audience, is the work of a team of mostly women in their twenties. There is said to be as many female journalists from black and ethnic minority backgrounds as there are men of all races.

The BBC’s flagship Radio 4 news programme (pictured, the Today studio) will launch a new podcast aimed at a much younger audience

Beyond Today will be available every weekday at 5pm in 20-minute episodes, the first of which will examine Philip Hammond’s upcoming budget.

It comes after the BBC revealed last week that the Today show’s audience has dropped significantly from 7.8million to 6.7million, the Sunday Times reported.

The reveal also follows a recent report by Ofcom, which suggested young people are moving towards an on-demand form of media consumption.  

Beyond Today will be available every weekday at 5pm in 30-minute episodes (pictured, Justin Webb, Sarah Montague and John Humphrys at Wigmore Hall, London)

Radio 4’s Today currently has an average listener age of 56, and four of its five main presenters are also over 50. John Humphrys, the eldest, is 75.

Beyond Today will he hosted by a younger team of presenters, including Matthew Price, 46, and Tina Daheley, 37.

But Today’s editor Sarah Sands recently defended the show’s older lineup to the Broadcasting Press Guild.

She said: ‘If we all have the “mono” view of a 23-year-old, we’re not representing.’

The Today spinoff is one of many podcasts the BBC’s director of radio and education James Purnell will announce on Tuesday as part of an effort to attract a younger audience.  

Mr Purnell will say: ‘Fake news spreads like a virus across social media, and the trust audiences have in radio is a potent weapon against it.

‘Audiences increasingly want to listen on demand, so we’re improving our offer to them.’

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