Al Franken gets show on SiriusXM

Al Franken, who left the U.S. Senate in 2018 following accusations of sexual misconduct, is launching his own weekly radio show on SiriusXM. The move is the biggest step Franken has taken in his attempted comeback so far.

Franken is one of the most famous public figures to be felled by the #MeToo movement after multiple women came forward to accuse him of inappropriate touching. He has apologized for some of the behavior he was accused of, but has not ruled out another run for office. He has said he regrets his decision to resign from the Senate and wishes he had appeared before a Senate Ethics Committee hearing.

The new show, which premieres Saturday, will feature conversations between Franken and figures in the political, entertainment, media and technology industries. His first guest will be comedian Chris Rock, who was on “Saturday Night Live” with Franken when both were cast members in the early 1990s. Future guests include former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and comedian Patton Oswalt.

The former Minnesota senator will also join the SiriusXM Progress team for special coverage of the 2020 elections, including presidential debates, primaries, and Election Night. In addition, Franken will appear on various shows throughout the Progress lineup.

Franken’s return to the spotlight began in the spring with a partnership with the talent agency UTA for paid speaking gigs and a new podcast. His resurrection has been met with mixed reactions. Fans have said it’s overdue; others, including some regular guests on Progress, disagree.

Regardless of what this means for Franken’s image, the move is likely to pay off for SiriusXM, Michael Harrison, publisher of radio industry trade magazine Talkers, told CNN Business. Franken “will probably be very successful within the structure of SiriusXM because they’re free of a lot of restraints and obstacles facing terrestrial radio,” Harrison said.

SiriusXM carried Franken’s Air America Radio show before he entered politics, from 2004 until he announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate on the show in 2007–arguably giving Franken the platform he needed to run successfully for the Senate, Harrison added.