2 May, 2022Print
Neal Carruth Joins Freakonomics Radio Network as Executive Vice President and General Manager
The Freakonomics Radio Network staff has tripled in size in the past two years, and today the company continues its explosive growth with the hire of Neal Carruth as Executive Vice President and General Manager. Carruth most recently led NPR’s news podcasting strategy, and his responsibilities at Freakonomics Radio Network will include helping to set the strategic and editorial direction of the organization. He'll be working with the senior team to develop audience, business, and content strategies for the network. His hiring follows the March appointment of Gabriel Roth from Slate as Editorial Director.
“For years now, I’ve been a serious fan of the work that Stephen Dubner and the team have done on the Freakonomics Radio podcast,” Carruth says. “I love the podcast’s combination of curiosity, rigor, and delight. I can’t wait to work with the team to grow the audience for the current slate of shows and to help them develop new properties. I’m so excited about this opportunity to help increase the reach and the impact of the Freakonomics Radio Network.”
Entering its twelfth year as one of the biggest podcasts on the planet, Freakonomics Radio is now growing faster than ever before. In addition to the flagship show and podcast network both setting listenership records in 2021, the Freakonomics Radio staff has tripled in size in the past two years. The flagship show Freakonomics Radio celebrated its 500th episode this month and has been joined in the past few years by the podcasts No Stupid Questions, a show exploring the weird and wonderful ways in which humans behave, with hosts Dubner and research psychologist Angela Duckworth;People I (Mostly) Admire, a show in which Dubner’s Freakonomics co-author Steven Levitt interviews other unorthodox high achievers; and Freakonomics M.D., a show exploring the intersection of economics and health care with Harvard physician and economist Dr. Bapu Jena. The team also has several new shows in development to launch on the Freakonomics Radio Network this spring, including its first new podcast of 2022, Off Leash, which will be announced soon.
“I feel we’ve hit the jackpot with Neal,” Dubner says. “He has an amazing track record in both the editorial and strategic realms, and he’s got a priceless perspective on this crazy-fast-growing industry. His presence here is going to immediately make us all better.”
Carruth joins the Freakonomics Radio Network after a long and distinguished career at NPR. After helping to create and launch NPR’s daily morning news podcast Up First, Carruth oversaw the development of a portfolio of first-in-class daily shows that now includes The Indicator from Planet Money, Short Wave, Pop Culture Happy Hour, and The NPR Politics Podcast. As COVID-19 was spreading around the globe in 2020, Carruth and his NPR colleagues launched Coronavirus Daily, which provided listeners with up-to-date information on the fast-moving pandemic and later evolved into Consider This, the first-of-its-kind localized afternoon complement to Up First. The “daily habit” news podcasts reach millions of listeners each week and have helped NPR build a young and diverse on-demand audience for its world-class journalism.
In addition to his work on daily news podcasts, Carruth has been a consistent champion for longform and service journalism. For nearly a decade, Carruth was the primary NPR executive supporting the Planet Money franchise, which saw tremendous growth in audience and revenue during his time working with the team. Carruth also spearheaded the establishment of NPR’s Enterprise Storytelling Unit, which provides a stable foundation for NPR’s seasonal podcasts Embedded, Invisibilia, and Rough Translation, as well as limited-run series like On Our Watch and White Lies. In 2021, Carruth was the executive sponsor of the podcast No Compromise, which was awarded the first Pulitzer Prize in the history of NPR. Carruth’s business journalism has also received recognition, including a George Foster Peabody Award, a Gerald Loeb Award, a Sigma Delta Chi Award, and an Edward R. Murrow Award.
About Freakonomics Radio Network
The Freakonomics Radio Network produces Freakonomics Radio, No Stupid Questions, People I (Mostly) Admire, and Freakonomics M.D.. Freakonomics Radio is one of the most enduring and popular podcasts in the world, with over 10 million downloads per month and an archive going back 12-plus years. No Stupid Questions launched in May of 2020, People I (Mostly) Admirelaunched in August of 2020, and Freakonomics M.D. launched in August of 2021. In total in 2021, podcasts from the Freakonomics Radio Network had over 160 million downloads. Freakonomics Radio Network will announce additional podcasts in 2022.