To the entertainment industry, Los Angeles is home. For digital media, Los Angeles is a rental stop.
Joe Rogan left Los Angeles this summer and took his $100 million podcast empire to Texas. Ben Shapiro, another industry-leader in podcasting, is now following him out of California.
Tuesday, Shapiro announced The Daily Wire is relocating from LA to Nashville.
Daily Wire co-founder Jeremy Boreing cited declining quality of life in the city, including high housing costs and homelessness, as the reason for the move.
Rogan blamed similar reasons for packing up:
“I just want to go somewhere in the center of the country, somewhere it’s easier to travel to both places, and somewhere where you have a little bit more freedom,” Rogan explained. Adding, “I think that where we live right here in Los Angeles is overcrowded. And I think, most of the time that’s not a problem. But I think it’s exposing the fact that it’s a real issue, when you look at the number of people that uh, are catching COVID because of this overpopulation issue.”
Undoubtedly, California’s high-income tax rate played a key role in the decisions. Texas and Tennessee are both states without an income tax (Tennessee taxes investment income and interest). As a result, both businesses are now more lucrative.
Rogan and the Daily Wire just sparked a trend; others should follow. Successful media companies no longer need New York and Los Angeles. Digital media, especially, has figured out what the rest of the country who can choose where to live has long known: the two cities are overcrowded, expensive, and unnecessary.
The Blaze is more of a trendsetter than originally thought. In addition, to its direct-to-consumer model, it is headquartered in state-income-tax-free Texas.
Pandemic months further proved, due to 2020 technology, hosts can broadcast from anywhere and the difference is unnoticeable. Several of Fox News’ most-viewed hosts now broadcast in their homes in front of massive TV screens; the experience is identical to in-studio airings.
Additionally, most writers and podcast hosts don’t need to work in an office/studio. Particularly, writers, who get more work done when daily traffic-filled commutes and distracting workplaces are omitted.
Politics also entice a move out of LA and New York.
“The dream of California and the weather were enough to draw us all here and keep us here, even when it was hard,” Boreing said. “But it’s hubris to think you can keep making it worse and worse for people and that somehow the idea of temperate winters will be enough to make them stay forever.”
*Follow Bobby Burack on Twitter @burackbobby_, and on Parler @bobbyburack.