|ICYMI: Serial Productions is now a New York Times company.
Also, the Times forged a “strategic alliance” with This American Life, in which the famed public radio and podcast operation will continue editorially collaborating with Serial Productions, while also receiving co-marketing and advertising sales support from the Times.
Aside from the general head-turning nature of the acquisition, this story is really about the Times. Here we have an already powerful audio publisher — one of the very few that’s broadly insulated from the vicissitudes of the podcast “platform wars” — further deepening its strength in the space. As Sam Dolnick, the Times’ assistant managing editor, phrased things to me, the overarching goal is to “establish the Times as a real center of gravity for audio journalism, news, and storytelling.”
One detail that didn’t get rolled into the initial write-up: the deal size. The Times is said to have paid $25 million for Serial Productions, according to the Times reporting on itself. (Ha.) Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal’s Ben Mullin spun that yarn out a little further, reporting that the deal could ultimately be valued up to $50 million, based on performance.