SiriusXM Launching ‘BASIC!,’ A New Original SXM Podcast Exploring Pop Culture During the Rise of Cable TV

SiriusXM announced today the upcoming launch of Basic!, an original SXM Podcast series, produced in conjunction with Pantheon Media. Hosted by media veteran Doug Herzog and TV critic Jen ChaneyBasic! explores the glory days of cable television, celebrating an era in pop culture when networks like MTV, Comedy Central, FX and ESPN changed the television landscape with groundbreaking, innovative programming.

The show will revisit cable’s low-budget, quirky beginnings all the way up to the Emmy Award-winning premium dramas of the modern era. Basic! will feature interviews with the stars, key players and creative visionaries that helped make cable TV the most important utility in any American home. The podcast will also zero in on unforgettable milestone moments in basic cable history, from Live-Aid to the Monday Night Wrestling Wars, from CNN’s game-changing 24-hour news coverage to the birth of reality TV.

Herzog and Chaney will anchor the conversations in this new podcast, creating an oral history as they go along. In each episode they will be joined by guests who thrived and starred on cable TV including Jimmy KimmelAmy Schumer, Fab Five Freddy, Cindy CrawfordNeal BrennanTim Gunn and many more. From the 80s to the present day, Basic! takes a closer look at the influence and impact that cable had on pop culture over the last 40 years.

“As a career cable weasel, I’m thrilled to bring the secret history of basic cable to ears everywhere,” said Doug Herzog. “It never had the same respect of network television, HBO or even the streamers who threatened to make it obsolete. But with a chip on its shoulder, it managed to change the TV landscape forever.”

“With streaming options proliferating by the minute — seriously, two new platforms were launched in the time it took me to say the beginning of this sentence — it seems like a perfect time to revisit the early years of basic cable and track its evolution and impact on the TV we watch today,” said Jen Chaney. “This podcast will be fun, conversational and, hopefully, educational. With Basic! in the world, hopefully no child will ever have to wonder again who Beavis or Butthead was.”

Beginning May 18, the Basic! podcast will be available on Stitcher, SiriusXM’s mobile app, Pandora, and all major podcast listening platforms. Episodes of Basic! will also begin airing on SiriusXM’s Volume (channel 106) this spring.

Doug Herzog is the former president of Viacom Music and Entertainment group where he oversaw MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, TVLand, Spike and Logo, among other cable channels.  Jen Chaney is a TV Critic for New York Magazine and Vulture. She is also an author and journalist who writes about movies, television and pop culture, and has written for numerous publications including The Washington PostNew York Times, Esquire and Salon.

SiriusXM is available to subscribers in their car, on their phone and connected devices at home with the SXM App. Streaming access is included for most subscribers. Go to to learn more.