Former Gimlet and Audible exec joins NPR as podcast strategy lead

Colin Campbell will start new role this December

Gimlet Media’s former executive editor of new show development Colin Campbell will be joining non-profit media organisation NPR this December as the senior vice president of podcasting strategy and franchise development. 

The announcement was made yesterday by NPR’s acting chief content officer Edith Chapin. In his most recent role at Gimlet Media, Campbell played a leading role in developing new non-fiction podcasts for the platform including true crime podcast seriesConviction, Crime Show, Welcome To Your Fantasy, and more. 

Campbell has over 20 years of experience in the audio and journalism industry, having served as a news editor for both the San Francisco Chronicle and AOL Time Warner, and in senior roles at WNYC Radio and Southern California Public Radio. 

“Podcasting is a natural way for NPR to tell stories with depth and character in addition to explanatory journalism,” said Chapin. “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.” 

The veteran audio producer first stepped into the podcasting world in 2016 in his role as the executive producer of original content development at Audible, where he worked on creating a portfolio of new audio programs for Audible and Amazon Prime subscribers including creating, editing, and executive producing programs such as The Making of a Massacre with ProPublica and Sincerely, X with TED. 

NPR produces a number of original podcasts including Planet Money, Up First, Fresh Air,The NPR Political Podcast, and more. In March 2024, NPR had to cut four podcasts from its budget in order to reduce its costs after facing $30 million in operating budget loss in February. In addition to cancelling the podcasts, NPR also laid off 10% of its workforce, amounting to at least 100 positions being eliminated.

In an interview with NPR, Campbell said that the company has an opportunity to increase its paying subscribers and continue building its audience by offering bonus episodes to Apple and other streaming services, as audiences will continue to see the organisation as a credible source for news and information. 

“NPR’s role as a home for distinct voices and a defender of democracy is important to me and it will succeed and thrive under a leadership team that knows how to combine mission-driven journalism with a sophisticated understanding of audiences and the business of podcasting,” said Campbell. “I am excited about this opportunity to help shape that future.”