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Oprah Winfrey Joins Hosts Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond for First Episode of New Season.
The New York Times is bringing “Dear Sugar Radio,” the advice podcast from WBUR, hosted by best-selling authors Cheryl Strayed (“Wild” and “Tiny Beautiful Things”) and Steve Almond (“Against Football”), to a new audience of Times listeners with a refreshed name — “Dear Sugars” — and identity. This collaboration between The Times and WBUR follows the tremendous success of their producing partnership on “Modern Love: The Podcast.”
Known for offering “radical empathy,” “Dear Sugars” brings advice to the heartsick with answers to listeners’ most pressing and painful relationship dilemmas. The new season debuts Saturday, July 15, with new episodes coming out every Saturday of the season. On the first episode, listeners will hear from Oprah Winfrey, who responds to a letter-writer struggling with saying “no” to demanding family members.
“Dear Sugar” began as an advice column on the online literary community The Rumpus, written first by Almond under the pseudonym and imagined identity of “Sugar.” When he received a fan letter from Strayed, an acquaintance who didn’t realize that he was the one behind the column, he had a revelation: the voice he was channeling as Sugar was actually hers. He asked Strayed to take over the column, and she agreed. In December 2014, WBUR united the “Sugars,” Strayed and Almond, for the first time to develop “Dear Sugar Radio” as a podcast where it quickly established a large, loyal audience.
Before joining The Times as executive producer for audio, Lisa Tobin was managing producer of program development at WBUR, where she helped develop and launch “Dear Sugar Radio” in 2014. “Cheryl and Steve are not typical advice columnists. They are beloved literary figures with incredible intelligence and life experience,” said Tobin. “As The Times continues to expand its role in people’s lives — to be vital not just as a source of news and information but in all aspects of life — they are the perfect addition to The Times family.”
New episodes of “Dear Sugars” will be released every Saturday, available on Apple Podcasts or the podcast app of your choice.
The Times will also introduce a new column inspired by “Dear Sugars” that will run in Thursday Styles. The weekly column, “The Sweet Spot,” will feature advice from both Strayed and Almond in response to letters from readers and listeners. The first column runs in print on Thursday, July 27.
In January 2016, The Times first collaborated with WBUR to launch “Modern Love: The Podcast,” which debuted at the top of the Apple Podcasts chart. Along with “Modern Love,” “Dear Sugars” joins a growing slate of New York Times podcasts, including “The Daily,” “Still Processing,” “Popcast,” and “The Book Review.”