So, We Got Laid Off
Hi! If you’re new here, welcome to Rich Text. We started this as an extracurricular writing project at the beginning of the year, but it looks like it’s getting much more curricular now.
So, What Happened?
The TL;DR is that BuzzFeed, HuffPost’s parent company, laid us both off on Tuesday, which means that Rich Text is now one of our main sources of income AND one of our main creative outlets.
The longer story is that we both worked at HuffPost, in many iterations, under a variety of corporate overlords (AOL, Verizon, BuzzFeed) over the last decade. Basically all of our work as journalists lived under the HuffPost brand -- including our podcast, Here To Make Friends. We grew up as writers and editors and reporters within the HuffPost newsroom. We met many of our best friends in that newsroom. We grew up in that newsroom. The suddenness of our departures (you can read about the way in which BuzzFeed conducted these layoffs here) has left the future of HTMF and the future of how we make a living up in the air.
We have also been locked out of our laptops without warning (lol?) and are scrambling to get our own personal devices as quickly as possible, so please forgive us if some of our new content is delayed or contains iPhone typos.
What’s Next For The Podcast?
We don’t know! We taped an episode with Molly Bernard on Tuesday immediately before the all-hands meeting (spring is here!) where we were informed about layoffs. By 1 pm, when producer Sara normally is at work on the edit, the whole team had been axed. That episode will probably never see the light of day. (We hope everyone checked out Rachel Lindsay on Bachelor Party for an excellent deconstruction of last week’s appalling, exploitative episode.)
That being said, we are hopeful that our days of podcasting about the show, with love and snark, are not over.
So, What About The Finale?
We ARE planning to tape some sort of recap of the upcoming finale and After the Final Rose Special on our own. Look for that here, on the free version of our newsletter!
Bonus audio content -- including a conversation we hope to have about Bachelorette news this week (yes, we HAVE seen the Chris Harrison news) -- will be for paid subscribers.
What Will The Free and Paid Newsletters Be For?
Truthfully, we’re still figuring out what content on here will be public and what will be behind a paywall. Paid content thus far has included both Bachelor commentary, like this chat about the Women Tell All episode, and personal/cultural essays. Today’s paid post was a personal look back at the onset of pandemic lockdowns here in the U.S., as seen through our photo archives.
Once we’ve sorted some things out, we do plan to have a consistent posting schedule for both versions of the newsletter. We’ll let you know when we figure it out, now that this newsletter has become more central to our work lives. But we promise to provide you with value in both versions. And, as always, we welcome your engagement and feedback.
Finally, An Earnest Note!
Ever since the news broke about HuffPost’s brutal layoffs, we have been overwhelmingly touched by the support from listeners, readers, and Bachelor Nation. We can’t express what it meant to hear from longtime and new listeners, fellow podcasters we admire, and so many friends we’ve made in this weird community. We are grateful for every DM, every tweet, every Instagram story and every email expressing love for the podcast, and for every subscription made to support us in continuing the work. (A special shout out to Sophie who stopped Emma on the street the other day! It was a delight!)
It’s an unreal feeling to realize that a thing we built slowly over the course of 5+ years has mattered to so many people. It’s been very easy, especially over the last year, when so much of our lives have been conducted via screens, to feel as though the only voices we hear are the critical ones; like maybe our contributions weren’t serving our audience or ourselves anymore.
But truly, all of the warm messages we have gotten have renewed our love for this community and this project. And perhaps this ending gives us a chance to rethink what we’ve been doing for five years and set up something that can live for another five -- and beyond.
Want more Rich Text? Consider becoming a paid subscriber to support this now-curricular writing project, and receive subscriber-only posts and audio.
I bumped into the podcast by accident before watching bachelor. I’m a reverse fan - I literally watch the show so that I can keep up with the podcast. You both make brilliant and entertaining content. Go forth with confidence...your fans will follow you to your next adventure.
Hands down one of the best podcasts in Bachelor Nation. Heartbroken to hear the news and looking forward to supporting your efforts moving forward!