The New York Times has announced the first hires for the forthcoming TV news show The Weekly, produced by Left/Right.
Mat Skene will be executive producer, and Jason Stallman and Alexandra Garcia will play key roles in the new program.
Mat Skene is an award-winning journalist who has recently completed a Nieman fellowship after a long and successful run at Al Jazeera, where he created and oversaw Fault Lines, the investigative current affairs program. Mat’s show broke ground on major stories — Haiti, Ferguson, Trump’s travel ban — and pioneered a visceral style of on-the-ground reporting. His show won a number of awards, including two Peabody Awards, an Emmy, nine more Emmy nominations. As executive producer, Mat will serve as the bridge between the Times newsroom and Left/Right.
He will be joined by Jason Stallman, a driving force in New York Times digital journalism. Jason will be leaving New York Times Sports to become the editor of The Weekly, where he will partner with journalists on every desk to determine what kinds of stories the show tells, and how the show tells them. Jason has been a pioneer at The New York Times in leading groundbreaking collaborations across desks, disciplines and continents.
Alexandra Garcia, previously in the New York Times’ Video department, will join The Weekly to bring her visual spark and sensibility to the show. She brings with her a huge range of experience in innovative ways of telling stories, including The Forger, Your Train Is Delayed, Into the Deluge and work on the Olympics in Pyeongchang and Rio. Alex has won numerous awards, including an Emmy last year for The Forger.
The Weekly will premiere on FX in the US, who hold first-run North American rights to The New York Times’ first major foray into TV news, in partnership with Hulu, which will be the exclusive SVOD streaming home to new episodes of the series the day after air.
In addition to the FX linear telecast and Hulu, episodes will also be available on FX’s VOD services, FXNOW (with commercials) and FX+ (commercial-free) to authenticated subscribers.
This marks FX’s first entry in the ongoing weekly news genre and the network has committed to a minimum of 30 episodes with the series scheduled to premiere later this year. The series is produced by The New York Times and Left/Right, a Red Arrow Studios company. Left/Right, cofounded by Ken Druckerman and Banks Tarver, are the award-winning producers of acclaimed docuseries including This American Life and The Circus for Showtime, as well as multiple episodes of Frontline for PBS.
The Weekly will be a narrative documentary news program that includes one or two of The Times’ biggest and most important visual stories each week. Viewers will be with those stories and the reporters as the show brings them to life. Much as The Daily podcast has taken a narrative approach to news that introduces listeners in a new way to host Michael Barbaro and reporters like Mike Schmidt, Maggie Haberman and Rukmini Callimachi, The Weekly will find the stories behind the headlines that would otherwise be left on the cutting room floor.
Reporters from The Times will act as guides to their own reporting. Viewers will see them chasing their stories, watch as they conduct their interviews, and generally have the sense of being along for the ride. There won’t be a host. The whole idea for this show, what makes it unprecedented, is that the layers that separate viewers from New York Times journalism will be eliminated. For generations, on the biggest stories of the day, the TV news programs have generally followed The Times, using its front page as a guide, bringing on its reporters, after the fact, to share insight into their journalism. This show will be different. The Weekly will set the agenda, just like The Times has always done.