Business Insider editor and columnist Josh Barro is the latest star reporter to quit his media job to launch both a newsletter and a podcast.
“I’m going freelance in the new year, with a new podcast and a new newsletter! I’ll have the newsletter details after the holidays, but you can already sign up for the new podcast, Really Serious With Josh Barro,” Barro wrote. on Twitter.
Barro follows other star journalists like Bari Weiss, who quit The New York Times a year ago and resurfaced with a Substack newsletter called Common Sense that as of October had more than 100,000 subscribers, according to CNN Business.
Matt Taibbi, Glenn Greenwald, Matthew Yglesias, and conservative commentator and author Andrew Sullivan are other examples of star journalists who left their full-time media jobs to run paid newsletters on Substack.
Together, the top 10 publishers in Substack currently make over $20 million a year, and some of the top performers each make over $1 million a year.
Substack aims to allow writers broad editorial freedom – as long as the company’s general content guidelines are adhered to – while gaining support for legal threats. The 4-year-old company’s hands-off approach to moderating content is inherently different from social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter: Substack customers choose to pay for a newsletter or read it for free. Yet earlier this year the company came under fire after some users pointed out that it harbors and pays out advances to authors seen as anti-trans and anti-women. Some authors eventually chose to leave Substack to fix the issue and migrate their work to competing platforms.