Even though our school days are long behind us, the beginning of September, right after Labour Day, always feels like a new school year. For us at LaineyGossip, this year more than ever. Because we have some exciting announcements to make as LaineyGossip is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year! And to mark our two decades of existence, we’re going back to the beginning. 

At the beginning, this blog was a newsletter. I’d just left my job and two close colleagues behind who told me they would miss my daily celebrity gossip updates so I started sending them an email, editorialising on whatever gossip was happening at the time. And there was a LOT happening at the time! Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman had divorced the year before and she was secretly dating Lenny Kravitz while he was with Penelope Cruz. Jake Gyllenhaal and Kirsten Dunst were together. Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey got married but Ben Affleck and JLo called off their (first) wedding. Britney and Justin were done and the now-infamous-but-probably-not-true dance-off was about to happen. 

Those emails were a way for me to stay connected to those two friends who then decided to share that connection with their other friends and so the distribution list started growing and growing; six months later I was blasting that newsletter out to thousands of people which eventually crashed the email server - and that’s when it was suggested that I turn the newsletter into a blog. At the time, that word, “blog”, wasn’t part of our cultural vocabulary. And now here we are, 20 years later, and our blog is still around and we’re about to give it a sister. Or, rather, we’re about to revive its older sister - the newsletter. But before we get into that, please allow me to share some of our thinking behind this development. 

We’re so proud and honoured that we’ve been able to keep the gossip flowing for this long, and it has always only been possible through the support of you, our readers. Yes, we’ve changed A LOT about how we cover gossip over the years, and have learned some hard lessons along the way, but we’ve always tried to maintain a tone and style that was once best described by a reader as “a conversation with a close girlfriend”. 

That conversation, admittedly, has been a bit one-way. Many of you email us and we do see those emails, but rarely have had the time to reply. And, of course, we don’t allow comments on the site because we’ve found that openly accessible commenting platforms invite the worst of the internet, especially when people don’t like your take on Harry and Meghan. But we’ve always known that fun and productive communities can be created around pop culture conversations - and it’s always been our goal to build that community in a way that’s safe and respectful. 

Up to this point, LaineyGossip has always been supported by ads. Those of you who don’t block ads (thank you) have helped us pay our writers, staff, server costs, photo licensing, and all the other expenses that go into running a website. It’s expensive as f*ck and not getting any cheaper.  

Without going too “inside baseball” on the state of the online ad industry, the last few years have been very challenging for a site our size to maintain momentum. Technology changes and privacy laws have brought checks and balances on previously free-flowing data on people’s browsing history. Remember the shoes you clicked on that followed you relentlessly for two weeks until you finally bought them? Depending on which browser you use and your permission settings, that doesn’t happen as frequently, which is good for privacy, but bad for small publishers that relied on those clicks for revenue. A host of other market and regulatory changes make relying solely on ad revenue increasingly difficult, and you’ve been seeing it in the news over the last few years with newsrooms and websites cutting jobs and shutting down.   

So we’re trying something a bit different. And we do so while mindful of the fact that life for you isn’t any cheaper than it was 5 years ago either. 

This website, LaineyGossip.com, will continue, business as usual, nothing will change. Come here for the latest gossip and analysis and hot takes, film reviews, movie trailers, celebrity romance updates, celebrity feud coverage, fashion trends, and more. 

And in addition to that, we’re asking our most loyal and regular readers to help keep LaineyGossip free and accessible by supporting our new venture and having some fun while doing it…

At THE SQUAWK on Substack!

The Squawk banner

The Squawk is a hub for a deeper dive into what we do on LaineyGossip. It provides subscribers with a platform to engage with other discerning gossips on the topics of the day - in other words, the comment section is open! We’ll be doing weekly mailbags on why we covered something the way we did, who we’re allegedly friends with, and what we think of someone’s not so far-fetched theory on so-and-so’s relationship. We’re going to schedule post-event chats where Sarah and I log on, maybe with one of the writers, and debrief with you on what just happened. We’ll post paid subscriber-only features that dive deeper into our industry and into gossip history. We will also be giving more insight on navigating our own careers as pop culture critics and broadcasters. 

The Squawk will not replace LaineyGossip. That is not our intention. We plan to keep posting at the same clip with the same rich photo galleries that we have for years. By subscribing to The Squawk, those of you who have emailed us in the past asking how else you can support what we do beyond clicking on ads (and not blocking them) will have a way to support what we do on LaineyGossip. And if you choose to take part, you’ll also be opening up a community for yourself that connects you to others who like to gossip, like to read, and do so away from social media’s toxicity.  

If you like what we do here on LaineyGossip, please consider a paid subscription to The SquawkClick here to do that and to learn more. We’re super excited about the new features this platform will offer and we hope you’ll join us! 

Thank you SO MUCH for 20 years of gossiping and squawking. On a personal note, you have given me a career in entertainment. It was that newsletter, wayyyyy back then, that kicked off this whole experience. I will forever be grateful - and so honoured if you choose to join us for the next chapter.