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NPR, WNYC Studios, WBEZ Chicago, and This American Life have teamed up to acquire Pocket Casts, an open platform podcast creators to create and distribute podcasts, the companies announced Thursday.

Why it matters: It's a shared attempt by the radio industry to push the podcast industry forward, which they hope will help bolster public radio. NPR, WNYC and others have been champions of the podcast movement, with hit successes in "Serial" and "Freakonomics."

  • Former iHeartRadio General Manager Owen Grover has been named CEO of Pocket Casts as a part of the announcement.
  • The groups involved in the acquisition say they have collectively experienced more than 170 million downloads per month, thanks in large part to the growth of podcasts.
  • In a statement, Laura Walker, President and CEO of New York Public Radio, which includes WNYC Studios, says the acquisition will help create a "more tailored discovery experience" that helps listeners find their next must-listen podcast.

Go deeper

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
2 hours ago - Sports

2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

10 months ago, the Tokyo Olympics were postponed. Now, less than six months ahead of their new start date, the dreaded word is being murmured: "canceled."

Driving the news: The Japanese government has privately concluded that the Games will have to be called off, The Times reports (subscription), citing an unnamed senior government source.

Biden's centrist words, liberal actions

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Biden talks like a soothing centrist. He promises to govern like a soothing centrist. But early moves show that he is keeping his promise to advance a liberal agenda.

Why it matters: Never before has a president done more by executive fiat in such a short period of time than Biden. And those specific actions, coupled with a push for a more progressive slate of regulators and advisers, look more like the Biden of the Democratic primary than the unity-and-restraint Biden of the general election.

3 hours ago - Technology

Review of Trump ban marks major turning point for Facebook

Photo Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Facebook's decision to ask its new independent Oversight Board to review the company's indefinite suspension of former President Trump is likely to set a critical precedent for how the social media giant handles political speech from world leaders.

What they're saying: "I very much hope and can expect … that they will uphold our decision," Facebook's VP of global affairs Nick Clegg tells Axios.