New York Times Company Acquires Serial Productions and Forms Strategic Alliance with “This American Life”


NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE) – The New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT) announced today that it will acquire Serial Productions, the company that produces the groundbreaking “Serial” podcast. In addition to the acquisition, The Times also announced that it has entered into an ongoing creative and strategic alliance with “This American Life” that will allow it to continue to collaborate on long-running audio stories with Serial Productions and to collaborate on marketing and sales advertising with The Times. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.Serial Productions is a team of the best and most successful long-serving journalists and storytellers, led by Julie Snyder, Sarah Koenig and Neil Drumming. Each episode of the first season of “Serial” has been downloaded an average of 20 million times and is credited with sparking the current podcast boom. “This American Life” is the iconic and long-running weekly public radio program founded by host and executive producer Ira Glass.

As a Times company, Serial Productions will commission and edit their own stories and they will now be amplified by The Times. The acquisition will allow the Serial team to tell more stories and produce more series than ever before.

With “The Daily”, “Serial” and the strategic alliance with “This American Life”, The Times has now brought together three of the world’s biggest audio brands. Along with other chart-topping shows and series including ‘1619’, ‘Rabbit Hole’ and ‘Caliphate’, as well as the recent acquisition of Audm, The Times will continue to develop new listening habits across a range. of formats. Creating a strong audio report aligns with the company’s larger goal of helping audiences understand the world around them through journalistic storytelling.

Meredith Kopit Levien, COO of The New York Times Company, said: “We have seen the power that audio can have in building deeper connections with our audiences and we are committed to bringing listeners the best in audio journalism. in the world. What better way to show that commitment than by acquiring “Serial”, the most famous and innovative podcast series ever produced and partnering with “This American Life,” a program that simply transformed the genre. We launched “Le Quotidien” in 2017 and it quickly became the country’s most watched news podcast. Our aim is to continue to evolve our audio offerings and to chart a sustainable path for high quality immersive audio journalism. ”

Sam Dolnick, associate editor who oversees audio for The Times, said, “We have been huge admirers of ‘This American Life’ and ‘Serial’ for years and their work has inspired and informed our own. We believe that the Serial and This American Life teams share our desire to continue to find innovative ways to tell stories, increase audiences and help more and more people understand the world better. world. They are as mission-oriented as we are and we are delighted to welcome them to the The Times family.

Julie Snyder, Editor-in-Chief of Serial Productions, said, “We are incredibly proud of ‘Serial’ and wanted to find a home where we felt shared values, one where we were supported and resourced to tell more stories. , of the highest quality. . We are thrilled to join The Times, where they have demonstrated their commitment to pursuing the possibilities of long-lasting audio and narrative journalism.

Ira Glass said: “For years now when people ask me to recommend a podcast, the first one I mention is ‘The Daily’. Effusively. Gushing. It’s so impressive how The Times got into audio journalism and put together a show that uses the medium so well. I also like how “The Daily” and the other Times podcasts are narrative journalism, like our show. They tell stories, with characters and feelings, and, of course, because they are The Times, a lucid analysis of the world around us. I can’t imagine a better partner for journalism than we and “Serial” do than The Times, and I look forward to continuing to invent this still young world of podcasting with them by our side.

As Serial Productions joins The Times, the team plans to produce a number of shows and series under The Times and Serial Productions banner. The first, “Nice White Parents,” will bring listeners with award-winning journalist Chana Joffe-Walt as she examines the role white families play in shaping public education. You can listen to the trailer tomorrow, with the first two episodes available Thursday, July 30 on or wherever you get your podcasts.

“This American Life” remains an independent business and will continue its weekly public radio broadcasts and podcast.

To learn more about the acquisition of The Times, our expanding audio portfolio and the future of our audio journalism, read a note on from Dean Baquet, Times editor, Meredith Kopit Levien, Sam Dolnick and Stephanie Preiss, Times vice president for audio and television.

LionTree Advisors LLC acts as financial advisor, Lauren Zalaznick as strategic advisor and Lowenstein Sandler acts as legal advisor to Serial and This American Life. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP and Davis Wright Tremaine LLP are acting as legal counsel to The Times.

About The New York Times Company

The New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT) is a global media organization dedicated to improving society by creating, collecting and disseminating high quality news and information. The company includes The New York Times, and related properties. She is known around the world for her excellent journalism and innovation in print and digital storytelling and business model. Keep up to date with the company at @NYTimesPR.

About serial productions

With the release of the first season of “Serial” in 2014, Serial Productions made “podcast” a household word and served as a springboard for the current podcasting industry. Formed by the producers of “This American Life”, Serial Productions has produced the world’s most listened to podcasts, with more than 625 million downloads over three seasons of the Serial podcast and its other hit podcast, “S-Town”. Known for its critical and commercial success, Serial Productions specializes in highly produced and compelling storytelling. The series have won nearly every major broadcast in broadcasting, including duPont-Columbia, Scripps Howard, Edward R. Murrow, and the very first Peabody awarded to a podcast.

About “This American Life”

Founded in 1995 by host and executive producer Ira Glass, “This American Life” created and popularized a style of narrative journalism that relies on compelling characters and emotional story arcs, with surprising humor and ideas. – all in a conversational tone. “This American Life” invented a style of storytelling that is widely recognized for establishing the sound of modern podcasting. It is also the world’s most popular weekly podcast, with over 2.8 million downloads per episode as well as 2.2 million weekly listeners on 500 public radio stations. “This American Life” won the first Pulitzer Prize for audio reporting in May 2020.

About “The Daily”

Since its launch in February 2017, “Le Quotidien” has redefined what news looks like. Every day of the week, the show is now downloaded over three million times, making it the country’s most popular news podcast. Hosted by Michael Barbaro and powered by the New York Times Newsroom, “The Daily” brings listeners the greatest stories of our time, told by the world’s best journalists. “The Daily” was nominated for a Peabody Award in 2019 and won a duPont-Columbia University Award for Audio Excellence in 2017. “The Daily” is broadcast by more than 200 public radio stations nationwide.

Some of the statements included in this press release, including those regarding the integration of this business and strategic objectives, are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, and actual results could differ materially from those predicted by such statements. prospective. . These risks and uncertainties include the risks detailed from time to time in the public records of The New York Times Company, including its annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 29, 2019 and the quarterly report on Form 10- Q for the fiscal quarter ended March 29, 2020. The New York Times Company assumes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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