We found our Kelly Clarkson
Welcome to our newest Smoothie!
Hi, everyone! Welcome to the last Smoothletter of Q3. Don’t let the pumpkin spice lattes or the people who judge anyone who drinks pumpkin spice lattes at a time the haters deem inappropriate fool you—everyone knows Q4 is the holidays.
So we’ll be celebrating appropriately with a festive Smoothletter next week. ’Tis the season!
—Kinsey, cofounder and head of editorial
A New Chapter for Smooth Content Services
A couple weeks back, I wrote about Smooth’s worldwide search for the next big thing in newsletters (read: an editor to join our team and help us scale our content operations). After some time…we finally found our Kelly Clarkson.
Now please set the mood and play “A Moment Like This” while I tell you more about Smooth’s latest and greatest: Newsletter Editor Jenna Movsowitz.
First up: What Jenna’s going to do at Smooth. She’ll be making our existing newsletters as technically excellent and thoughtfully creative as possible. With her on the content services team, we’ll be able to take on more projects (beyond just newsletters 👀) with more incredibly talented partners.
Next: Why we’re so thrilled to expand content services. We believe deeply in the value of creators and brands owning relationships, expanding their monetization opportunities, and creating deep relationships with their audience through exquisite, resonant content. So far, we’ve been focused on newsletter content…and I might be biased, but I think we’ve gotten pretty great at it. Now, with Jenna on board and our newsletter competency rock solid, we have the bandwidth to expand beyond newsletters into other media and platforms. We have the team in place to take big swings.
Finally: Get to know Jenna in her own words (because you’ll be seeing a lot more of them very soon).
Jenna Movsowitz: While I currently reside in Brooklyn, my story starts somewhere “outside of Philadelphia,” which is to say, a nondescript Northeast suburb. There, I spent my adolescence searching for a semblance of athletic coordination and instead discovered a knack for words. At 18, I delved into this passion at Johns Hopkins University, where I majored in Writing Seminars (an oh-so-collegiate name for “creative writing”) and came out with a deep love for the em dash and little-to-no idea what I wanted to do with my life.
I began freelancing, taking any opportunity to flex my writing muscles, and ultimately was able to turn freelancing into my full-time job. For three years, I did marketing for food and beverage startups while launching, writing, and editing a magazine for Startup CPG—a major industry group for emerging consumer brands. Through my work, I had the pleasure of being a self-proclaimed “cheerleader” of small brands. I loved learning with and from passionate, mission-driven founders and helping them tell their stories.
As I now begin my new role at Smooth, I see my knack for storytelling—and em dashes—find a new home in newsletters. And, perhaps most importantly, I see myself continuing to be a cheerleader for exceptional individuals building something much larger than themselves.
JM: As a student at heart, I’m stupidly excited to study our creators’ areas of expertise and add new niches to my media diet. Whether I’m keeping up with the modern workplace (shoutout Salary Transparent Street and WorkDaze) or cutting-edge AI (hey, Future Tools), I cannot wait to soak up new knowledge. My dinner table discussions are about to get a lot more interesting, and that honestly makes me giddy.
JM: I’m an OG reader and fan of TheSkimm, but I’m currently loving Maybe Baby by Haley Nahman for deeply personal reflections and cultural critiques (check out this edition on modern socializing—it’s a personal favorite) and Garbage Day by Ryan Broderick for understanding the ever-evolving nuances of internet culture.
JM: Many writers are pessimistic about the future of media. And while “traditional” publications and true-blue journalism may look different (if not invisible) these days, I’m personally very excited for what’s to come—which may be a hot take in itself.
But my marginally warmer take? We’re moving back to long-form media. We’ve already seen this in many media: TikTok’s lengthened time limits, the virality of video essays, reaction videos that are longer than the thing they’re reacting to. And I only see this expanding—to the long-form essay, series over standalones, and movie-length podcasts. Modern media consumers, I believe, seek to become experts in a niche—a desire which lends itself to long-form. While easy-to-digest, general-interest content was “in” for a while, I predict that depth-over-breadth is the new black.
There you have it! Want to chat with me, Jenna, or anyone on the team about the latest and greatest in our content department? Slide into our DMs—we’d love to hear from you.
The Rebooting (fan favorite around here) and Video Elephant surveyed publishers about video—the big takeaway was how important everyone thinks it is for how little revenue it actually generates.
Josh Flagg from Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles is starting a real estate media company anchored by 20+ content creators and agents.
Alex Cooper’s Unwell Network claimed the top two spots on Spotify’s podcast rankings c/o her protégée Alix Earle’s brand new show. We’re veryyy interested in Cooper’s next move.
Congressional news startup Punchbowl News is on track to do $20 million in revenue this year, two years after it launched.
#digibuzzcodevoxious is a term we coined back in our Morning Brew days—a portmanteau of Digiday, BuzzFeed, Recode, Vox, and Axios. Obviously, the year was 2018 and the interest rates were zero. But still, the sentiment of “interesting media trends and news” remains. So the name stays.
Far be it for me to ask a single technical question while onboarding a new hire.
Thanks for reading! We’re having a little get together October 10 in NYC and we’d love to see you there. Here’s the link to RSVP and no, I don’t know why Josh chose the photo of sheep in sunglasses. See you there!