Business Insider’s Josh Barro Is Latest Star Journalist to Quit and Start Newsletter

“I am going independent in the new year,” Barro said on Twitter

Josh Barro

Business Insider Senior Editor and Columnist Josh Barro is the latest star journalist to quit his media gig to launch both a newsletter and a podcast.

“I am going independent in the new year, with a new podcast and a new newsletter! I’ll have newsletter details after the holidays, but you can already sign up for the new podcast, Very Serious with Josh Barro,” Barro wrote on Twitter.

Barro follows other star reporters like Bari Weiss, who quit the New York Times a year ago and resurfaced with a Substack newsletter called Common Sense which as of October has gotten more than 100,000 subscribers, according to CNN Business.

Other examples of star reporters who quit their full-time media jobs to start paid newsletters on Substack include Matt Taibbi, Glenn Greenwald, Matthew Yglesias and conservative commentator and author Andrew Sullivan.

Together, the top 10 publishers on Substack currently rake in more than $20 million a year, and some of the top performers each make more than $1 million annually. 

Substack aims to allow writers broad editorial freedom — as long as the company’s broad content guidelines are respected — while getting 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’s customers are choosing to pay for a newsletter or read it for free. Yet earlier this year, the company faced some criticism after some users pointed out that it was hosting and paying advances to authors regarded as anti-trans and anti-women. Some writers ultimately chose to leave Substack over the issue and migrate their work to competing platforms.