Substack, the free newsletter platform for writers, was in the news for the wrong reasons this past week. “Following the announcement of its Substack Pro program, the platform that billed itself as a solution to media polarization has inadvertently become a source of it. As the newsletter space grows more saturated, the gaffe could create opportunities for other email-service providers looking to poach Substack’s user base.” A number of well-known writers have departed the platform in light of the Substrack Pro announcement, which some say shows that the company recruits certain writers to join its platform. Who those writers are and how the company convinces them to do so is what people want answers for, because not only is Substack free for anyone to sign up and start writing but it has become a place where well-known writers voicing unpopular opinions on race, censorship and, most central to this story, transgender rights have been brought on board one way or another. “To be associated with those names by having a Substack feels dirty,” one writer told Adweek. The question now is: Is Substack big to withstand a revolt from the very writers who built it up? (Adweek)

. . . Opinion: The Substack controversy’s bigger story (WaPo)

In other journalism

–  Alexi McCammond, hired to be Teen Vogue’s new editor-in-chief, resigned after continuing fury over past racist tweets. She would’ve started the job Wednesday. (NYT)

–  If you know, you know: Duke and UNC student media raised $76,000 for news by tapping into their schools’ basketball rivalry. (Meanwhile, in actual basketball, Duke didn’t make the tournament and UNC lost in the first round.)

–  “Hundreds of radio stations around the country are eagerly waiting to see whom Premiere Networks will put in Limbaugh’s old time slot,” and a few major players are rushing to try to steal listeners attention during the slot. Axios: The rush to replace Rush