Jul 6, 2020
Dan Oshinsky didn’t apply for an open position to run BuzzFeed’s newsletter operations. He just happened to reach out to editor Ben Smith back when BuzzFeed was hiring a bunch of people with weird internet obsessions, and the company hired him without a clearly defined role.
This dynamic granted Dan a lot of leeway in terms of how he approached BuzzFeed’s newsletters, and he went on to launch several products, including multiple online courses and the newsletter This Week In Cats. A few years later he got hired to run newsletters at The New Yorker, which was focused on building out its paid digital subscriptions. Recently, he left that job to run his own newsletter consultancy.
I recently interviewed Dan about how he built out BuzzFeed’s newsletter strategy, the role of newsletters in driving paid subscriptions, and why he left such a prestigious job to strike off on his own.