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“Increasingly, personalities matter”: Washington Post launches subscriber newsletter penned by columnist

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The Washington Post Opinions section has announced the launch of its first-ever subscriber-only newsletter, which will be penned by Opinions columnist Jennifer Rubin. It comes at a time when The Post is doubling down on promoting its writers as creators in their own right.

In a bid to deepen connections with its audience, as well as promote its writers as individual creator talents, The Washington Post Opinions section is launching its first-ever subscriber-only newsletter. Written by Opinions columnist Jennifer Rubin, the weekly newsletter will send every Friday beginning April 14.

Rubin, a veteran writer known for her sharp commentary and deep political knowledge, has written extensively for the Post Opinions section for thirteen years and established herself as a leading voice in U.S. foreign and domestic affairs.

Jennifer is an essential voice at The Post. She has built a devoted readership around her consistently insightful work. This newsletter will give those readers a new form through which they can discover her journalism and connect with her thinking.

David Shipley, Opinions Editor, Washington Post
WaPo’s veteran commentator, Jennifer Rubin

It comes at a time when the publisher is increasingly promoting its writers as standalone creator talents housed within the framework of The Washington Post brand, partly to deepen audience engagement but also to mitigate against the threat of creator platforms like Substack.

Other newsletters from the Opinions section include columnist Karen Attiah who covers personal and political liberation during a time of change as well as The Checkup With Dr. Wen on how to navigate the Covid-19 pandemic and other public health challenges. Rubin’s newsletter, however, is the first to be made subscriber-only.

Harnessing individual talents

Washington Post’s CRO, Joy Robins, told WNIP last year that The Post was looking at how best to harness the creator economy, “Increasingly personalities matter, and we’re asking ourselves how we can ensure journalists are increasingly developing their own relationships with their readers. It’s really important you are looking inside at your own in-house talent and developing them.”

Robins admitted, however, that getting the right mix between individual writer personalities and The Post as a publishing brand was a delicate balance, “Getting the balance right isn’t always easy, but we do want to support our writers who have the desire and ability to be more of a personal brand.”

Journalism was the original creator economy. By rooting our entire strategy around the audience will help drive advertising success as well.

Joy Robins, CRO, The Washington Post

Rubin herself says, “I’m incredibly excited to have a platform where I can connect with subscribers, delve into the most important stories of the week and share some of my experiences and interests outside politics. This will be an opportunity for our most loyal readers to get greater perspective on events and enjoy new material beyond what I write each week in my columns.”