NPR has named Collin Campbell as its podcast chief.
According to NPR, more than 26 million people listen to 156 million NPR downloads per month. This year’s new offerings include "Trump's Trials" and "State of the World."
Campbell will serve as senior vice president for podcasting strategy and franchise development, reporting to a new chief content officer, a dormant title recently revived by NPR CEO John Lansing.
He succeeds Anya Grundmann, NPR programming executive who is departing NPR at the end of this year, in the refashioned position.
"Podcasting is a natural way for NPR to tell stories with depth and character in addition to explanatory journalism,” says Edith Chapin, NPR's acting chief content officer, who selected Campbell. “Collin brings the mix of journalism and podcasting experience that will build on NPR's groundbreaking work with podcasts and refine our work for the ever changing media landscape."
Previously, Campbell served at Gimlet, a for-profit podcast entrant, which won a Pulitzer Prize this year. However, owner Spotify, which acquired Gimlet in 2019, has slashed jobs amid a decline in ad revenue.
"I've seen boom, I have seen bust," Campbell says, according to NPR. "The last year, particularly for me, it's been really hard, you know, to go from winning the Pulitzer Prize in audio to being dismantled three months later. To have a pretty incredible workforce sent packing was just devastating to watch."
NPR has also experienced layoffs, losing almost 10% of its workforce this year. And it has eliminated four podcasts, including "Invisibilia." NPR won a Pulitzer Prize for audio with member stations WABE and KCUR in 2021.
"People who are looking for news and information on topics are just facing a really confusing mix," Campbell said in an interview with NPR ahead of the announcement.
Campbell added, "You can't sort between the output of a group of journalists that have the goods and have the boots on the ground, and a bunch of people [simply] talking about it. We have to really look at ways to stand out and show what we do and how we do it."