How to play the long game, with New York Times CEO Meredith Kopit Levien
Meredith Kopit Levien is the CEO of The New York Times, which is perhaps the most famous journalism organization in the world, and certainly one of America’s most complicated companies.
The Times is 172 years old, and has only recently become a force on the internet. It’s hard to remember, but back in 2014 and ‘15, people thought the Times was doomed — that it would be replaced by BuzzFeed and Vice and Vox. Instead, the company has undergone a radical and sometimes painful public transformation, and emerged as something closer to Netflix or Spotify – a subscription business with a huge investment in product and engineering.
Meredith has led a lot of that change, and in particular, she’s led the charge in turning a Times subscription into much more than paying for news – NYT Cooking and Games are hit apps, and of course she bought Wordle last year in a bit of a coup.
We talked about that structure, how Meredith intends to appeal to a broader audience with all those products when the country is basically divided in half politically and one half doesn’t care for the Times at all, and about platforms and growth. And like all media organizations, the Times has a complex relationship with Google, so we talked about that, too.
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Decoder is a production of The Verge and part of the Vox Media Podcast Network.
It was produced by Creighton DeSimone and Hadley Robinson and it was edited by Amanda Rose Smith
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