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New York Times CEO Bullish on the Future of Podcasting

“Meredith Kopit Levien told investors the New York Times’ podcasting division could be a “very big business”.”

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New York Times CEO Meredith Kopit Levien sees a bright future for podcasting. The new chief executive of the historic New York newspaper told investors this week at the Goldman Sachs media conference that the company will continue with its efforts to move further into the digital audio space, and beyond the world of print.

“Audio is an area we are particularly excited about,” said Kopit Levien.

On average, “The Daily” generates four million downloads per day, nearly twice as many as it was delivering a year ago. Kopit Levien realizes the NYT’s audience in digital audio is significantly larger than the printed newspaper.

“Most of the people who are listening to The Daily everyday look quite different than traditional newspaper readers,” added Kopit Levien. “In many cases they’re new people to having a daily habit with The Times. They tend to be younger than traditional Times readers in print or even in digital, they’re much more likely to be female, the vast majority of the audience is under 40, and a lot is under 30, and they come every day and they listen in many cases the whole way through.”

The Times has shown it’s committed to investing millions of dollars to grow popular programs like ‘The Daily’, and to invest in major brands like Serial Productions, which the company spent 25 million dollars to acquire. They also struck a multiyear licensing deal with Ira Glass’ This America Life and recently added Kara Swisher’s new podcast Sway.

Second quarter was especially strong for the company, with digital revenue passing print revenue for the first time in company history. Podcast-specific revenues weren’t released, but second-quarter digital ad revenues were down 32% while print advertising revenues dropped 55%. A decline is expected for third-quarter too, with losses being attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kopit Levien believes the podcasting division for the company could be a “very big business” and likes that it not only helps grow subscriptions, but it produces cash on its own. She also cites the value of shows like “The Daily” introducing listeners to other new programs under the company’s banner. For instance, the new education podcast “Nice White Parents,” has already become the 10th biggest podcast in August according to Podtrac.

Despite audio producing significant traction and elevating optimism throughout the company, Kopit Levien is less bullish on the possibilities in video.

“I don’t know of any companies that were not born out of linear television that have succeeded in making video itself, original video production, as a standalone business, a strong business,” she said. “The economics were much different than in text. I think for the Times and many others in journalism. [Audio] is a clearer lift and one we have more optimism around as a standalone business.”

News Print & Digital

Elon Musk Would Lift Twitter’s “Morally Wrong” Ban on Donald Trump

Musk stated at the Financial Times’ Future of the Car event that he would change “the morally wrong and flat-out stupid” decision by Twitter to ban Trump

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When Elon Musk decided to begin the process of purchasing Twitter, one of the marquee questions surrounding the takeover is whether or not he would lift the ban on former President Donald Trump.

Musk stated on Tuesday while speaking at the Financial Times’ Future of the Car event that he would change “the morally wrong and flat-out stupid” decision by Twitter to ban Trump, per Reuters

“I think it was a morally bad decision to be clear and foolish in the extreme,” Musk said. “I do think it was not correct to ban Donald trump I think that was a mistake … It alienated a large part of the country and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice.”

Twitter banned the former President in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol to prevent “the risk of further incitement of violence.” However, even if the social media giant lifts its ban on Trump, he might not return as he’s keen on growing his platform TRUTH Social. 

“I am not going on Twitter; I am going to stay on TRUTH,” Trump said. “I hope Elon buys Twitter because he’ll make improvements to it, and he is a good man, but I am going to be staying on TRUTH.”

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Washington Post Wins Pulitzer Prize for Its Jan. 6th Coverage

The prize, viewed as American journalism’s highest award, acknowledges the work of more than 100 journalists throughout The Post’s newsroom. 

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There was plenty of news coverage regarding the January 6th insurrection when many supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to overturn the 2020 Election. 

However, The Washington Post received the highest award for its coverage last year as the newspaper announced that it had won the Pulitzer Prize. 

The prize, viewed as American journalism’s highest award, acknowledges the work of more than 100 journalists throughout The Post’s newsroom. 

“This was a seminal event in American history and democracy,” Post Executive Editor Sally Buzbee said. “I’m enormously pleased and very honored that the whole breadth and sweep of the Post coverage is what was recognized.”

Furthermore, Marty Baron, the Post’s legendary executive editor who retired in February 2021, celebrated the award and expressed that The Post’s work covering January 6th reflects “journalistic teamwork at its finest.”

“The skills of every department were deployed. And I couldn’t be more gratified that it is now being recognized with journalism’s highest honor,” Baron added to the statement announcing the award.  

“It was a privilege to be part of such a remarkable newsroom, which rightly hasn’t let up in its investigation of who and what brought the United States to such a precarious point in its history.”

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“Meet the Press” Goes Daily as NBC News Now Content Grows

The new lineup will include “Meet the Press NOW,” anchored by Chuck Todd, streaming at 4 p.m. ET Monday through Friday beginning Monday, June 6. 

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To further grow the NBC News NOW platform, the company plans to add new anchors and original shows to its programming lineup. The company announced that “Meet the Press” is going daily in a press release.

The new lineup will include “Meet the Press NOW,” anchored by Chuck Todd, streaming at 4 p.m. ET Monday through Friday beginning Monday, June 6. 

“NBC News is the leader in streaming news,” NBC News President Noah Oppenheim said. “Since our launch, we’ve been committed to delivering the best of NBC News’ journalism, free, to streaming audiences everywhere.”

“Chuck was one of the first broadcast anchors to see the massive potential of streaming, and bringing Meet the Press’s daily franchise to NBC News NOW reinforces the platform’s status as the destination for news on streaming.”

Furthermore, the “Meet the Press” daily show isn’t the only addition to the streaming service. NBC News senior investigative and consumer correspondent Vicky Nguyen will join NBC News NOW anchor. 

Along with Nguyen, NBC News correspondent Morgan Radford will be the co-host of “NBC News NOW Live from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on NBC News NOW. 

Finally, NBC News NOW anchor and NBC News correspondent Aaron Gilchrist is going to serve as an anchoring “NBC News NOW Live” from 2 to 4 p.m., and MSNBC Senior National Correspondent Chris Jansing will start anchoring “MSNBC Reports at 1 p.m. on May 26. 

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