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Housekeeping, end of 2020

Let’s start with a quick reminder: Hot Pod is taking the next two weeks off to recuperate for the rest of 2020. It’s been the year from hell, and I’m due to pay back a ton of spiritual debt. For paid subscribers, I’m writing two final Insiders this week — I suspect there’s a little more news to come over the next few days — but after that, that letter is taking a break as well. We’re fully back in business on January 5, 2021.

Okay, so, here’s the first big announcement: Caroline Crampton is going on sabbatical next year to work on some projects that… well, she’ll tell you more about it when the time comes. For now, let me just say: it’s been such a pleasure to work with Caroline, and I’m very excited about the stuff she’s shifting gears to work on. She remains part of the Hot Pod family, and there’s a spot open for her whenever she’s ready to come back. (Provided this newsletter lives that long, of course.)

Speaking of which, Caroline stepping back is why I mentioned I’m looking for a new regular columnist in last week’s newsletter. I’ve gotten a good response so far, but the call is still open, and I posted more details of what the role entails and what I’m generally looking for on the Hot Pod website. This would be a great gig for someone looking for steady secondary work, though the number of folks who wrote in expressing interest in writing one-off pieces has convinced me to expand my freelance contributor budget for 2021. More on that in the new year.

Oh, I should also say: expect some considerable changes to Hot Pod next year, particularly by the middle of the first quarter. Much of this is natural evolutionary stuff, as the newsletter and its needs have shifted quite a bit since this operation started in the fall of 2014. My own workload has changed a good deal as well, having launched a podcast with LAist Studios and a recommendations newsletter for Vulture over the past year. Hot Pod remains the anchor of my work, though, and these changes are mostly about setting the newsletter up with processes to help last for the long run more generally. Also: having not held a proper job for longer than a year, I find it crazy that I’m entering my seventh year of writing Hot Pod. It’s a real honor, and I hope to keep doing so for as long as it makes sense.

Of course, this shop doesn’t exist without your support. So, if you haven’t already, please consider buying a subscription to Hot Pod Insider. If you find the work we do here valuable in any way, do think about paying $7 per month or $70 per year. Also, because it’s the holiday season, keep in mind: you can gift subscriptions too! More info here.

Alrighty, that’s enough housekeeping. Let’s get to it.