Well hello FC. It’s been a minute. It’s been nearly three years since I announced I was shutting down the newsletter. It’s been four + years since I posted here with any regularity. And it’s been nearly eight years since I last freelanced. A lot has changed since then.
There are two notable events that inspired me to get back into your feeds.
First, about six months ago, I left my full time job. I intended to freelance for short time and then go on a year-long fellowship. I was very confident in this plan… so confident, in fact, that after lining up one steady freelance gig and turning in my fellowship application, I didn’t pursue any other contracts or clients. I made it all the way to the last round of the fellowship process, and was ultimately rejected. Heartbreaker.
Second, the layoffs that have been happening across media hit very close to home this week. Pushkin Industries, a company I helped build, announced they were laying off 13 people – about 20% of the company. Many of them are people I recruited and worked with very closely. This is in addition to the six people who were laid off in January. It’s brutal. I had the luxury of leaving by choice, on my own terms. These colleagues didn’t, and my heart aches for them. They enter a shitty job market where so much of the public media industry is in turmoil. I want to support them. I don’t think any of them even know about this newsletter, but way back in 2007 when I started this, it served as a lifeline for me. It was a way to learn about potential opportunities and resources and share them with others… and a means to feel just a little bit more connected to the freelance community. I sincerely hope these colleagues find full time work as soon as humanly possible. I know many of them need health insurance and the other securities that come with traditional employment. And if you are a hiring manager and someone from Pushkin applies for your position. HIRE THEM, without hesitation. But in the meantime, I want to do my small part to help them and the many others who’ve lost their jobs recently, and I want to reengage with the many of you who’ve chosen the freelance life on purpose. I’ve missed you! I run into you from time to time and I always love reminiscing about the meetups at Pacific Coast Brewery in Oakland back in the day. And I’m again grateful for the loose online community that was my lifeline during those many years of contract work. I’m very happy to be back in touch.
A few bits of business to kick things off.
First, my website is a mess. When I tried to send this message earlier this week, I found the site completely corrupted and unusable. My dear freelancing friend Joey got it up and running for me. 🙏🙏 But the plugins and everything else about it are woefully out of date. I’m not even sure how/if this post will reach you without a direct link. (It used to automatically post to Twitter, Facebook, and email. There was no substack back then and I’m pretty sure that’s all broken now. I’ll work on it.)
Second, there are so many new (and not so new) brilliant resources for public media freelancers and I will do my best to boost those. My two favorites for audio have not changed: Airmedia.org and Transom.org. One new resource which consistently blows me away is this monthly newsletter created by London-based audio producer Talia Augustidis. It’s an amazing compilation and you should subscribe immediately.
Finally, I’m planning a media makers meet up in the Hudson Valley the first week in July and I’d love to see you if you’re in this area and would like to join. Reach out directly for details.
That’s it for now, FC. Stay tuned for website cleanup and other updates. If you’ve been laid off, I’m so very sorry for what you’re going through. If you know me and want to talk, I’m here. Please don’t hesitate to reach out. And if you know someone who could benefit from this newsletter, please share it. I’m happy to be back in your feeds.