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Brands are avoiding serious news coverage, and it’s hurting The New York Times’ podcasts.

The New York Times reported earnings yesterday, and CEO Meredith Kopit Levien told investors that “our digital performance, including podcasts, was impacted by marketers avoiding some hard news topics like the Middle East conflict.” The NYT has published extensive (and important) podcasts about the war in Gaza and surrounding conflicts. Conventional wisdom in podcasting goes that advertisers avoid politics and other controversial topics, which is perhaps why brands gravitate toward sports and comedy shows.