Jacob Weisberg, the chairman and editor in chief of the Slate Group, announced in a Twitter post on Wednesday that he was leaving the company to start a new audio venture with the author Malcolm Gladwell.
“After 22 years, there’s no good moment to leave, but you start to feel like it’s now or never if you’re ever going to,” Mr. Weisberg, 54, said in an interview.
In recent years at Slate, Mr. Weisberg focused on how to make digital journalism sustainable while leading the online magazine into podcasting. It now offers 25 podcasts, including “Slate Political Gabfest,” which has been running for 13 years; “Trumpcast,” which his co-hosted by Mr. Weisberg; and “Slow Burn,” which received 11 million downloads in its Watergate-focused first season and has recently returned to delve into the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.
Julia Turner, the editor in chief of Slate, credited Mr. Weisberg for developing the publication’s distinctive voice, which she described as a “mix of rigor and playfulness.”
Mr. Weisberg joined Slate as chief political correspondent in 1996, when Microsoft was its owner and Michael Kinsley was its founding editor. He took over as editor in chief in 2002 and steered Slate through a change of ownership in 2004, when The Washington Post Company bought it for an estimated $15 million.
In 2008, Mr. Weisberg became the chairman and editor in chief of the Slate Group, a digital publishing entity that is now part of Graham Holdings Company, as The Washington Post Company was renamed in 2013, after the Amazon founder Jeff Bezos bought the newspaper.
The new audio venture, which doesn’t have a name yet, will be funded by Mr. Gladwell and Mr. Weisberg at the outset. It will focus on creating new podcasts, audiobooks and short-form audio content.
Mr. Gladwell, a longtime writer for The New Yorker, has gained an audio following with “Revisionist History,” a podcast he created in partnership with Panoply, a network started by the Slate Group. He also appears on the music podcast “Broken Record,” which is co-produced by the music producer Rick Rubin and a former New York Times editor, Bruce Headlam. The two shows will be among those put out by the new audio company, Mr. Weisberg said.
“The thing in the last two years I have enjoyed the most has been working on podcasts and audio programming, developing the shows with Malcolm,” Mr. Weisberg said.
The relationship between Mr. Weisberg and Mr. Gladwell goes back three decades, to when they were housemates in Washington at the start of their careers. In 1999, Mr. Gladwell wrote a New Yorker profile of Mr. Weisberg’s mother, “Six Degrees of Lois Weisberg,” which described her as a prodigious social connector. The profile later became a chapter in Mr. Gladwell’s best-selling book “The Tipping Point.”