New York Times Buys Serial Productions Podcast Producer

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The New York Times Firm formally introduced that it’s buying Serial Productions, the podcast firm behind the breakout hit “Serial.”

As a part of the Times, Serial Productions will independently fee and edit its personal tales, which “will now be amplified by the Times,” the corporate mentioned. The writer and media firm paid about $25 million in money for Serial, in keeping with a supply conversant in the deal.

As well as, the Times mentioned it had entered into an “ongoing inventive and strategic alliance” with “This American Life,” the weekly public radio program based by host and government producer Ira Glass. That can let “This American Life” proceed to collaborate on long-form audio tales with Serial Productions in addition to accomplice with the Times on advertising and advert gross sales. “Serial” first launched in 2014 as a derivative of “This American Life.”

The phrases of the deal weren’t disclosed.

The acquisition of Serial will increase the Times’ present podcast enterprise, which incorporates flagship “The Day by day,” hosted by Michael Barbaro. “This American Life,” produced in collaboration with WBEZ Chicago and distributed by PRX (Public Radio Change), will stay impartial.

“We’ve seen the ability that audio can have in constructing deeper connections with our viewers and we’re dedicated to bringing listeners the perfect audio journalism on the planet,” mentioned Meredith Kopit Levien, COO of the New York Times Firm. She was simply named the corporate’s CEO, taking up the function in September from Mark Thompson.

Serial Productions is led by Julie Snyder, Sarah Koenig and Neil Drumming. Every episode of “Serial’s” first season — an investigation into the 2000 conviction of Adnan Syed for the homicide of his girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, in Baltimore — was downloaded 20 million instances on common. Serial’s in style “S-City,” launched in 2017, prompted a lawsuit from the topic’s property that was settled earlier this 12 months.

The Serial group, which shaped their firm in 2017, plans to provide reveals and collection beneath each The Times and Serial Productions banner. The primary is “Good White Mother and father,” with reporter Chana Joffe-Walt inspecting the function white households play in shaping public training, which can premiere Thursday, July 30.

“We’re extremely pleased with ‘Serial’ and wished to discover a dwelling the place we felt shared values, one the place we might be supported and resourced to inform extra tales, of the very best high quality,” Snyder, government editor of Serial Productions, mentioned in a press release. “We’re thrilled to be becoming a member of The Times, the place they’ve demonstrated a dedication to pursuing the chances of audio and long-form narrative journalism.”

Glass, in a press release supplied by the Times, mentioned each time he’s requested to suggest a podcast, “the primary one I point out is ‘The Day by day.’”

“It’s so spectacular, how the Times jumped into audio journalism, and made a present that makes use of the medium so properly,” Glass mentioned, including that “I can’t think about a greater accomplice for the journalism we and ‘Serial’ do than the Times, and sit up for persevering with to invent this still-young world of podcasting with them at our facet.”

In March, the Times paid $8.6 million for Audm, a subscription-based audio app that gives long-form journalism learn aloud by audio-book narrators. The Times’ audio division is headed by government producer Lisa Tobin.

For Serial Productions and “This American Life,” LionTree Advisors is monetary adviser, former NBCUniversal exec Lauren Zalaznick is a strategic advisor, and Lowenstein Sandler is authorized adviser. For the Times Firm, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius and Davis Wright Tremaine is authorized adviser.

Pictured above (l. to r.): Julie Snyder, Sarah Koenig, Ira Glass

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