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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

Report: More Than a Third of Twitter’s Top 100 Advertisers Have Exited

CNN’s Oliver Darcy shared the reporting done by the Washington Post that more than a third of the top 100 Twitter advertisers have abandoned the platform.

Eduardo Razo

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One of Elon Musk’s most significant challenges, as he now owns Twitter, lies on the financial side as the Tesla CEO attempts to make the social media stay afloat or at least somewhat profitable. 

However, CNN’s Oliver Darcy shared the reporting done by the Washington Post in his “Reliable Sources” newsletter that more than a third of Twitter’s top 100 advertisers have abandoned the platform.

With advertisers exiting, the lack of ad revenue is one of the most significant dangers to Twitter since it accounted for approximately 90 percent of its income last year.

The reporting also reveals that the pausing of ad campaigns is getting under Musk’s skin. The new Twitter owner lashed out at brands again Tuesday for “starving” the company of revenue. 

Musk also strongly suggested he never really created a “content moderation council” due to advertisers who “broke the deal” they allegedly had with him when they began exiting the platform after he “agreed to this condition.”

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News Print & Digital

Elon Musk: Ownership of Twitter Isn’t ‘Right-Wing Takeover’

Tesla CEO Elon Musk spoke with those who are still with the company, reassuring them that his ownership isn’t a “right-wing takeover.”

Eduardo Razo

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Last week saw Twitter have another mass exodus of staffers and Tesla CEO Elon Musk spoke with those who are still with the company, reassuring them that his ownership isn’t a “right-wing takeover.”

Furthermore, Musk stated that he doesn’t plan on moving the platform to Texas despite many suggesting he do so since, for him, it would send a wrong message. 

“If we want to move the headquarters to Texas, I think it would play into the idea that Twitter has gone from being left-wing to right-wing, which is not the case,” Musk said (h/t The Verge). “This is not a right-wing takeover of Twitter. It is a moderate-wing takeover of Twitter.”

However, Musk is open to the idea of having dual headquarters, one in San Francisco and another in Texas, but for now, his objective appears to be stabilizing the company after a rocky transition. 

Musk indicated he might be done with slashing employees, telling employees to refer potential staffers for engineering and sales positions.

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Blaze TV Hosts React To Controversy With Elon Musk, Twitter

Blaze TV hosts are reacting to the ongoing controversy involving Twitter as the company has seen mass layoffs under Elon Musk.

Ryan Hedrick

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Blaze TV hosts are reacting to the ongoing controversy involving Twitter. Last week, CBS News said it was halting its activity on the platform amid layoffs and resignations at the company. 

Jeff Fisher joined Pat Gray and Steve Burguiere aka Stu, on the “Glenn Beck Show ” Monday to discuss some of the latest developments involving Twitter including owner Elion Musk banning conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. 

Burguiere said it’s strange to see how left-leaning pundits have demonized Elon Musk following his acquisition of Twitter. 

“This guy should be a liberal icon,” stated Burguiere. “We lose sight of this because he says things about free speech that I guess is exclusively a right-wing issue.” 

Burguiere said that Musk should be able to do anything that he wants with Twitter considering the amount of money he invested to purchase the company. 

“This whole thing that he’s the icon of free speech, I don’t know if that’s true,” added Burguiere. 

Musk announced recently that conspiracy theorist Alex Jones received a permanent ban on Twitter for his involvement in denying that the Sandy Hook massacre took place.

“He (Musk) has been a hard no on Alex no matter what,” said Fisher. 

“He has apologized for it,” Burguiere said. “He’s also been sued for billions of dollars over it.” 

“The thing about Alex Jones is that some of us don’t like what he said,” Gray remarked. “But, who cares, that’s what you call free speech.”

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