Three Minute Squiz With… The Squiz

Here we are – Kate, Claire and Larissa

The Squiz has hit a couple of milestones – we’ve recorded our 200th episode of the podcast, and on 8 March we turn two-years-old. Amazing. We often get feedback from Squizers that they’d like to know more about what we do and how/why/when we do it – so here you go. 

Who are you two amazing ladies? Where do you live? Do you have families? It’s funny listening to you so often but not knowing anything about you! Gaby
Aww thanks, Gaby. We’re actually a team of three (you met Larissa Moore, our engagement director, a few weeks ago). But yes, Claire Kimball (founder/editor) and Kate Watson (shareholder/commercial director/podcast producer) have been mates for more than a decade. We live in Sydney, but we’re all country girls originally. On the family front, we have long-suffering husbands/partners/families/friends/French Bulldogs

How did Squiz come about? Niki
Claire had been a political and corporate media adviser for yonks and always bemoaned the lack of a good/fun/opinion free Aussie morning news email that covered it all. So she decided to give it a go herself. Kate was one of the first she told about what she wanted to do – in a bar, late at night, in Canberra (ie the sort of setting where every idea sounds amazing). Thing was, Kate still thought it was an awesome idea the next day. And so it began…

What time do you have to wake up every weekday? Alix
This is the question we get asked the most. Bloody early, Alix. Claire’s up at 3.30am-ish, Kate at 4.18am (she’s got it down to the minute), and Larissa before 6am. 

What time do you go to bed? Ian
Too late. No matter what the time, it’s always too late…

What’s your process to get the email written and podcast done? Lisa
Claire has a draft of the email written by 8pm each evening. Kate works in the background to put it into a format that works for the podcast. Claire’s back at her computer early to get across where the Aussie papers/radio/TV morning bulletins have landed, and what’s breaking in international news. On a slow morning, a story or two might change. Some mornings more than half the email has to be rewritten. Claire and Kate jump online at 5am to record the podcast and Kate produces it in time for it go out with the email. (People are often surprised that we aren’t actually together to record the podcast – it’s all done over the magic of the internet.) Then it’s over to Larissa for social media-ing…

How do you decide what to include each day? Sarah
The three of us are news junkies and we talk about news all day. But come the afternoon, Claire makes a call about what the major themes/big news items/good conversation starters are.

Note: none of us are journalists, and that’s part of the Squiz difference. It’s about taking a look across the media and putting it together in a way that makes sense to a news consumer.

The song lyrics – what’s that about? Carolyn
Claire hears songs in her head when she’s consuming news. Headlines, situations, pictures – they all spark tunes. Weird but true. 

How does pressing send make you feel? Evie and Emmie
Great question. You’d think that two years in it would be routine. But it’s still a nerve wracking/exciting/butterflies-in-the-stomach type of thing. We care a lot about getting the best email and podcast to you each day.

How long did it take you to convince yourself this lark could be a full-time thing? Lisa
Ages. It was a good three years in the making. Two-and-a-half of those years was spent thinking it was a pipe-dream, and six months of being brave enough to say it out loud and telling colleagues/friends we were going to go for it.

How do you make money? John
Geez, John. Buy a lady a drink first… At the moment, we rely on advertising for revenue – and to that end, we truly thank those businesses, big and small, who have advertised with us. We also have some incredible investors who can see potential in The Squiz and have backed us. Some details on that are here. We’re also looking at other ways we can grow. 

What is the biggest challenge about staying relevant and popular as a news outlet in today’s overload of media/news that is thrown at people? Renee
Staying disciplined. There’s a lot of news and other content out there we know people can, and do, access all the time. And we know there’s a bunch of stuff The Squiz could do to produce more content. But we’re only interested in making your life easier by cutting through the clutter. We think if we do that well, we could be onto a winner.

What’s the one thing you wish you’d known as you were starting The Squiz? Karen
How supportive Squizers would be. If we’d known that, we would have started it ages ago and be further down the path of what we want to build. When we get things wrong, you tell us, but in the most polite way. And anytime we ask for your help, you give it. Our growth has almost entirely relied on you to refer it to your network – and you have. It’s incredible, and we’re so grateful. Moral of the story – if you have something you want to try, go for it. People might be more supportive than you think.

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