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It’s my first email blast of our Squawk era! And for me, personally, it feels like a homecoming. As I shared earlier this week LaineyGossip started as a newsletter 20 years ago. And now, two decades later, we’re back in the newsletter game. But this isn’t the only full circle moment of my career lately.
After 10 seasons as a co-host on The Social, I’ve decided to step away from the role to focus on other opportunities, including The Squawk. Ten years earlier, I moved from Vancouver to Toronto when The Social launched. Ten years before that, after quitting my job in academic development, I started writing the newsletter that would eventually turn into LaineyGossip. Another 10 year cycle is about to begin, just as I’m about to celebrate a milestone birthday. And while I can’t say that I deliberately choose these nice round numbers to make big life changes, none of these decisions were spontaneous. I initiated the process of leaving The Social last September; it was my intention to finish out the 10th season of the show and then dedicate myself full-time to my work on ETALK as an entertainment news reporter while concurrently investing more energy into my work at LaineyGossip and now The Squawk.
Time really was an issue. Here’s what an average day looked like for me over the last ten years while on The Social, ETALK, and managing LaineyGossip:
5am: LaineyGossip emails and column planning
7am: Arrive at the studio
715am – 9am: Writing and editing LaineyGossip
830am: ETALK voiceover session
9am: ETALK morning meeting
930am: Hair appointment (in my office, while writing LaineyGossip)
10am: The Social morning meeting
11am – 1230pm:
Writing and editing Laineygossip
ETALK digital shoot
The Social rehearsals
1230pm: Wardrobe check. Mic’ing and final touch-ups for The Social
1pm – 2pm: The Social live broadcast
2pm: ETALK taping
3pm – 5pm:
Writing and editing LaineyGossip
The Social content meetings
It is an not an exaggeration to say that everything in my schedule was timed so tightly that if just one piece of it went over, I wouldn’t be able to stop in the hall to have a five minute conversation with someone because I was too much in a rush to get to the next thing or get back to my laptop to finish off a post. If I could, though, I would do it all over again because I LOVED it. I love all my jobs so much.
In the end, it’s a matter of doing what’s best for what you love. And what I love most is pop culture. At the risk of sounding conceited, the way my career has progressed, it’s put me in a pretty unique position. I consider myself a culture writer – it’s my job to observe and analyse the entertainment industry – and at the same time, here in Canada, I’ve also been a member of the entertainment industry. Whether it’s on ETALK or The Social, I’m on television every day. Of course it’s different because I’m not the subject of the story but rather the presenter who’s relaying the story to the audience, and yet, being on-camera has given me some insight into what the industry is like for the people who are gossiped about.
With that perspective, as pop culture continues to change – and rapidly, as we find the entertainment industry at a crossroads, and as conversations about celebrity culture can increasingly no longer be separated from general culture – this is where I want to spend more of my time as a writer and as a broadcaster.
Most of us at LaineyGossip and The Squawk are outsiders and insiders. We are outsiders because, obviously, we are not stars. But we are insiders because we have worked in the business, or continue to work in the business, and we understand how it functions behind the scenes. We have also had the outside-inside view on the internal and external cultural shifts in celebrity. When I first started gossiping online, it was a fun hobby. I quickly learned that this hobby wasn’t just about who was f-cking whom or beefing with whom in Hollywood, but how those stories could reveal something about ourselves. Gossiping is a form of communication, and some would argue one of the most human forms of communication.
As Yuvan Noah Harari writes in Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind:
“… language evolved as a way of gossiping. According to this theory Homo sapiens is primarily a social animal. Social cooperation is our key for survival and reproduction. It is not enough for individual men and women to know the whereabouts of lions and bison. It’s much more important for them to know who in their band hates whom, who is sleeping with whom, who is honest, and who is a cheat.”
Not that I want to get too sanctimonious about our celebrity gossip and assign excessive import to it, LOL, but my point is, it’s not UNimportant, either. It was important enough for me to make a career run for it 20 years ago and it’s important enough for me to re-center my career around it 20 years later. Only now I’m not alone.
Gossip brought me and Sarah together, and we now co-edit LaineyGossip.com and The Squawk. Together we have found a team of writers who care about gossip and its wider implications, and who can also appreciate the fun in talking about famous people and what they reflect back to us about our lives. One of these days, once I pitch it to her and with her co-sign, we’ll share here at The Squawk the Twilight origin story of our relationship. We weren’t always as aligned as we are now. In fact, you could say the vibe was almost adversarial.
But isn’t that the magic of gossip? We may not have started out as gossip friends but the gossip chemistry was there, it was undeniable. The classic enemy to lover trope, a workplace romance in its own way.
Keep gossiping, keep squawking,
PS. We are so overwhelmed and moved by your support for The Squawk. THANK YOU FOR SUSTAINING THE GOSSIP!
So, ugh, I am sorry sorry sorry to do this but there were some issues with Substack’s payment platform from last night until now and payments weren’t processed for those who opted for a paid subscription. Substack registered you as a subscriber but you were defaulted to a basic/free subscription. If you're interested in a paid subscription (I’m shamelessly asking you to consider it!) and this happened to you earlier, please try again. We greatly appreciate all your love and contributions as we grow this community while continuing our work at LaineyGossip!