Hey Vermont, 'It's Been A Minute'

Oct 6, 2017

Listen for It’s Been A Minute from NPR on Saturdays at 10 a.m. beginning Saturday, October 7. 'It's been a minute' is another way of saying 'let's catch up.' Host Sam Sanders does just that in this weekly conversation with journalists, newsmakers, and listeners about news, popular culture and everything in between. 

The show wraps up the week’s news in a way that feels more like you’re catching up with friends over breakfast than listening to a traditional news program. Sanders and his guests also cover music, movies, and pop culture, so you'll come away feeling both smarter about what’s happening in the world and refreshed for the rest of your day. Producer Brent Baughman describes it this way: "If you are simultaneously exhausted by the news but can't seem to focus on anything else, this will help. It's about the news. But it's not the news. And it's fun to listen to."

If you are simultaneously exhausted by the news but can't seem to focus on anything else, this will help. It's about the news. But it's not the news. And it's fun to listen to. - Producer Brent Baughman

The show debuted as a podcast this summer, and we're thrilled to bring it to our radio audience as part of our fall program changes. Sanders offers some background on the show in this Q&A:

Q. Why did you decide to make It's Been a Minute?
A. What I really see the show doing is taking the conversations I have with my friends and colleagues all the time, about current events, and everything -- taking those conversations and putting them on the radio. Smart conversations. Newsy conversations -- but loose, and conversational. Also, when I talk with my friends, we talk about everything. That new Lorde album AND the state of the nuclear Iran deal. That thing that's trending on Twitter, and your friend who just had a baby. The show purposefully includes our listeners sharing some of the joyful stuff going on in our lives. That's the goal of the show. Having those wide-ranging smart conversations that feel a bit like the ones you might have at the watercooler, or happy hour.

Q. What do you hope listeners take away from listening to the show?
A. We hope the show hits them like a good novel. We hope they hear truths and ideas about the week's events that resonate with them, but that they maybe hadn't articulated in their own head. But also -- ideas and voices that challenge them, that are new to them, that surprise them. And the pipeline for all that stuff is good, fun, human conversation. We also hope the show reminds people that it's ok to still have questions, and to still be figuring out just how to feel about everything going on in the world right now. And in some parts of the show, particularly some of those deep dives and our "Best Thing All Week" segment, we're really trying to remind people that we're all still human, that regardless of the crazy in the news cycle, we can still find some joy, and even humor in all of our weeks.

Q. Who's your dream interviewee or panelist, and why?
A. I'd really enjoy a conversation with former President Obama. And I've been itching to talk with Senator Lindsay Graham since I was on the campaign trail. Also Kate McKinnon from SNL. I think we could have a conversation that would be the perfect mix of politics, comedy and pop culture. (And J.Lo, because I'm fascinated in the amazing longevity of her career.)

Q. In the spirit of your segment "Best Thing All Week," what's the best thing about making a show like this?
A. For sure our listeners. We couldn't do this without them. They helped us create the show in (the app) NPR One, and their voices are a big part of every episode each week.

Sanders teamed up with producer Brent Baughman to create It’s Been A Minute. You can learn more about their creation process and partnership in this NPR feature.