Introducing Political Breakdown

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January 3, 2018, San Francisco, CA Political Breakdown is a new weekly radio program and podcast that unpacks politics with a California perspective. Hosts Scott Shafer, senior editor of the California politics and government desk, and state politics reporter Marisa Lagos examine the political intersection of California and the nation, from the inside out.

KQED morning news meeting and portraits at KQED in San Francisco, Calif., Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. Photos by Alison Yin Photography

Political Breakdown hosts Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos. Photo by Alison Yin.

Joined each week by reporters and other insiders involved in the craft of politics–including elected officials, candidates, pollsters, campaign managers, fundraisers, and other political players—Political Breakdown pulls back the curtain to offer a glimpse at how politics is made today. Loose, unscripted, and at times playful, Shafer and Lagos will go beyond the policy talking points, and the glossy ads and images. “Our aim is to get our guests to open up and speak candidly about what shaped them, what they really care about, what motivates them, and how they really feel about the news and policies that affect our daily lives,” says Shafer.

In addition to covering local and state topics, Political Breakdown will look at national news and policies, but from California’s unique vantage point. “Our state’s size and self-reliance, combined with more left-leaning attitudes towards politics, social and environmental issues, really gives these conversations a different spin than they might have elsewhere.” adds Lagos. “Depending on where you are in the country, our state is viewed as either a beacon or nuisance.”

Political Breakdown
premieres on January 11, and will air live on KQED Public Radio 88.5 FM each Thursday at 6:30pm. Find it on Apple Podcasts and wherever else you get your podcasts, or visit

About KQED
KQED serves the people of Northern California with a public-supported alternative to commercial media. An NPR and PBS affiliate based in San Francisco, KQED is home to one of the most listened-to public radio stations in the nation, one of the highest-rated public television services and an award-winning education program helping students and educators thrive in 21st-century classrooms. A trusted news source and leader and innovator in interactive technology, KQED takes people of all ages on journeys of exploration — exposing them to new people, places and ideas.