Why I'm Keeping This Newsletter Separate From The Podcast I Co-Host

A somewhat overdue explanation

Ever since Katie Herzog and I launched the premium version of the podcast we host, Blocked and Reported, I’ve gotten questions about the possibility of bundling subscriptions to that podcast and this newsletter so that people don’t have to pay full freight for both. Many months later, and having given it a great deal of thought, I just can’t really see a feasible way to do that, and I wanted to give a quick explanation why.

It’s basically two things: First, because I’ve been very fortunate, both the newsletter and the podcast are going well, and it just feels silly to do anything that would risk that. I have all sorts of qualms about the general trajectory we’re on, with more and more writers retreating behind individualized paywalls, and I hope this is a holding pattern while some structural stuff gets sorted out rather than a permanent new reality. But it is what it is for now, and I do think writers have a right to make whatever money they can (within ethical constraints, of course), especially given the pockmarked state of Journoland.

Second, since I run this newsletter but only run half of Blocked and Reported, it would be logistically difficult to even figure out how a bundle would work. Like, if someone pays $X for a hypothetical bundle, how would I even divide that up between myself and Katie? Newsletter-writing and podcast-recording (and -producing) are very different tasks, so it makes my head hurt to imagine trying to figure that out. One of the things I like about my current situation is that it is freer of administrative responsibilities than any office job I’ve had. I say freer and not free because man does that stuff pile up quickly, even when you’re self-employed (and in some specific domains, like health insurance, there’s significantly more paperwork). But I don’t really need to closely track my hours, or divvy up anyone’s responsibilities, or do a lot of the administrative stuff that comes with an office job, and I’m very much incentivized to keep things that way.

Now, in the future, maybe some new opportunity will pop up which will allow me to include my newsletter into a bundling scheme with other writers, or which will allow Katie and I to make more of our stuff free, or which will allow full integration of Singal-Minded and the BARpod, somehow. You never know. And of course I realize that people only have so much money to spend on subscriptions — I am, again, extremely grateful that all this is working out, at least for now. It goes without saying that I completely understand if people can’t afford to subscribe to Singal-Minded or Blocked and Reported or either. At the moment, though, it just makes sense to keep things as they are.

Thank you so much for reading and listening, and here’s to a less disastrous 2021.


Questions? Comments? Bitcoin-related newsletter-financing schemes that involve Ukrainian pass-through companies? I’m at singalminded@gmail.com or on Twitter at@jessesingal. The image of an accountant wrestling with paper from his adding machine is fromThe Frustrated Accountant.