The Pub, #20: What Eric Nuzum will do at Audible that he couldn’t do at NPR

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“Let’s talk about the ideas that you always wanted to do but could never do.”

That’s how Donald Katz, CEO of, opened a meeting with Eric Nuzum, NPR’s outgoing programming v.p.

“Like, ideas that were either too big, or cost too much money, or were too risky, or you couldn’t find or attract the right talent for it,” Nuzum recalls Katz wanting to discuss.

As a result of those conversations, Nuzum is leaving NPR in June to become Audible’s senior v.p. for original content. He’s tight-lipped about the ideas he discussed with Katz, but he told me on The Pub that he has big plans, ranging from a documentary series to a game show.

“At Audible, I think our aspiration is to be the place where . . . top-shelf creative talent come to do the best work of their lives, and not have to worry about how to market it or pay for it,” Nuzum said. “And that’s a very attractive idea.”

On this week’s episode of The Pub, we look back at Nuzum’s career developing new shows at NPR, which included hits such as Invisibilia, and such misses as Bryant Park Project. We also explore why Nuzum felt he had to leave public media to help audio producers do “the best work of their lives.”



Also on the show this week:

  • Deanna Martin Mackey, outgoing KPBS station manager and incoming president of the Public Television Major Market Group, discusses why so few women have been hired into public media’s top jobs and what is being done about it.
  • Listeners react to our recent shows on the ethical pitfalls of podcast advertising and PBS’s Membership Video on Demand as “slippery slope” arguments.

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We welcome your feedback on the show: You can reach me at [email protected] or @aragusea on Twitter; my supervising producer at Current, Mike Janssen, is at [email protected]; and you can contact Current generally at [email protected] or @currentpubmedia on Twitter.

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Adam Ragusea hosts Current’s weekly podcast The Pub, and is a journalist in residence and visiting assistant professor at Mercer University’s Center for Collaborative Journalism.

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