Substack Hires Google Alum, Media Law Veteran as Legal Chief

Substack Inc., a subscription-based online media company that’s assembled a stable of high-profile writers, added its first-ever legal chief last month in Tim Hwang.

Hwang said he joined Substack working remotely as the startup’s general counsel in mid-July, having most recently advised the company while working in private practice as a name partner at Rosen, Wolfe & Hwang in San Francisco.

Substack’s new top lawyer once spent two years working in the public policy division at Alphabet Inc.’s Google, where he took the lead on artificial intelligence and machine learning. Hwang said that position often had him interacting with governments and policy makers.

Hwang’s move to Substack, which had not been publicly disclosed, comes after he spent four years in private practice. During that time Hwang became familiar with freedom of the press and ethics matters, as well as the thicket of legal issues related to online advertising and the internet.

Bloomberg Businessweek reported in February on the substantial growth of Substack’s business within the past year. Top scribes on Substack’s platform include Matthew YglesiasBari WeissMatt TaibbiAndrew Sullivan, and David Latfounder of the legal news website Above the Law.

Writers can earn well over $1 million per year working for Substack, which has more than 500,000 paying subscribers, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

Substack closed a $65 million in Series B financing earlier this year and was valued at $650 million after that fundraising. Andreessen Horowitz, a venture capital firm, led the fundraising and has also backed other media startups, like the audio-focused Clubhouse. That company made one of its first in-house legal hires this year after a Series C fundraising that valued the company at $4 billion.

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