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Clean energy journalism for a cooler tomorrow

Energy audio stars Stephen Lacey and Shayle Kann launch podcasts with Canary

Catch the trailers for The Carbon Copy and Catalyst here — and subscribe before they debut next week.
By Julian Spector

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The Canary Media flock is growing.

Our nonprofit newsroom is co-producing two new, original weekly podcasts with two reigning champions of the clean energy audio world: Stephen Lacey and Shayle Kann. Lacey and Kann recently concluded their involvement with their long-running and much-loved podcasts The Energy Gang and The Interchange.

The new podcasts are The Carbon Copy, a narrative news show, and Catalyst with Shayle Kann, a long-form interview program. Their first episodes drop next week.

Lacey’s production studio, Post Script Media, is crafting the shows with the current moment in history firmly in mind, when interest in clean energy and climate has broken out of traditional silos. Climate change permeates everything from business to travel to pop culture, Lacey said in a recent interview. The new podcasts will explore how the carbon-based economy is getting reworked into a clean economy in real time.

Trailers are out now, and listeners can subscribe to the brand-new feeds for The Carbon Copy and Catalyst with Shayle Kann to make sure they get the first episodes as soon as they come out. Catalyst will air on Thursdays, and The Carbon Copy on Fridays.

The Carbon Copy

People are hungry for shorter-form, really tight content that dives deep into a particular story,” Lacey said. We want to explain the changing world through the lens of the news.”

This format has grown in prominence for general current-events podcasts — think The Daily from The New York Times, or The Journal from The Wall Street Journal.

Lacey will host the show, and he and his team will interview reporters and key sources for each news story they feature to bring the narrative alive through the voices of people on the ground. This type of podcast demands more production work than a gabfest-style show, which can be recorded in one sitting, with hosts prepping beforehand and then bantering about the news for an hour or so. The extra work pays off with immersive audio storytelling.

Longtime Energy Gang fans will recognize Lacey’s voice, and other familiar figures will make appearances, including former Energy Gang co-host Katherine Hamilton. But The Carbon Copy is definitely not a carbon copy of The Energy Gang, which will continue running. Going forward, it will be produced by research and consulting firm Wood Mackenzie, which acquired both The Energy Gang and The Interchange through its 2016 purchase of Greentech Media.

In terms of the format and the types of stories that we’re covering, this is a new type of show,” Lacey said.

Catalyst with Shayle Kann

Kann is a clean energy researcher turned investor who tracks emerging technologies for grid-oriented VC firm Energy Impact Partners. There are a lot of energy analysts out there, but Kann made a name for himself with his knack for weaving data points into narratives.

Climatetech is truly becoming a mainstream investment category like medtech and biotech and fintech,” Lacey said. Shayle is one of the people who has seen how this industry has grown and where this money has gone.”

Kann brought his trademark curiosity and mellifluous radio voice to The Interchange, an interview podcast that launched in 2015. At Catalyst, he’ll continue to dive deep with his guests, but the topic selection will get a tuneup for the current moment.

We’re well beyond wind, batteries and solar now,” Lacey said.

Instead of those now-familiar sectors, look out for conversations on the next wave of decarbonization — the hard-to-finance, far-off technologies that just might solve problems we can’t fix with today’s tools.

Investors and governments are already contemplating massive infusions of money into things like clean steel and cement, or carbon-free air travel, or capturing carbon out of the atmosphere. Catalyst aims to inform decision-makers about where they should be spending those dollars and what questions they’ll want to ask.

Getting the gang back together

The new podcast launch also reunites old colleagues. Like many of us at Canary Media, Lacey previously worked at clean energy industry news site Greentech Media, where he originally launched The Energy Gang and The Interchange. Lacey hired me to work there and was my editor for several years.

Nearly five years after acquiring Greentech Media, Wood Mackenzie chose to shut down its clean energy newsroom in March 2021. A company spokesperson told the L.A. Times that journalism is not core to us.” But Wood Mackenzie kept The Energy Gang and The Interchange going. Lacey’s Post Script Media produced them until last week; from this point on, Wood Mackenzie will host and produce those shows.

Meanwhile, a motley crew of Greentech Media alumni banded together with new partners and colleagues to launch Canary Media, based on the thesis that sharp, analytical reporting and analysis on the global transition to clean energy will be increasingly valuable as more investment flows into this space than ever before in human history.

Having to abandon an established brand and start from scratch isn’t easy. But six months in, Canary has grown to 12 full-time staff and attracted daily readers who are keen to understand what it will take to build a zero-carbon society.

The media” in Canary Media now encompasses:

Now The Carbon Copy and Catalyst join the roster.

There’s a reason why we’re joining up: because you are the top journalists in this space,” Lacey told me over the phone, where he couldn’t see me blushing. We’re going to tap the expertise of the Canary journalist team to give these stories more editorial weight.”

The Carbon Copy and Catalyst, then, unite a team of journalists dedicated to full-time coverage of the clean energy transition with veteran podcasters who know how to make that subject work for audio.

If that sounds enticing, take a second to subscribe to the brand-new feeds for The Carbon Copy and Catalyst. Connect with Lacey and Kann on Twitter if you want to share your thoughts or suggestions for future coverage. And if you have friends and colleagues who enjoyed their previous work, be sure to let them know where to find fresh material from Lacey and Kann from here on out.

Julian Spector is a senior reporter at Canary Media. He reports on batteries, long-duration energy storage, low-carbon hydrogen and clean energy breakthroughs around the world.