Lulu Cheng Meservey isn’t your typical corporate flack. The Washington, D.C.-based head of communications for Substack, a digital newsletter platform, Meservey is brash and outspoken online—far more so than the company’s founders. Her pre-PR background included a short stint on Wall Street and working for one of former President Bill Clinton’s chiefs of staff. And she recently joined the board of Activision Blizzard, the scandal-plagued gaming company that is trying to sell itself to Microsoft for $69 billion.
So when we met by Zoom earlier this week, I wondered if Meservey was at all chagrined by the recent turn of events at Substack, which laid off 14% of its staff, or 13 people, in June. The move came only a month after The New York Times questioned Substack’s staying power, which led Meservey to issue one of the funniest blow-offs to a press inquisition I’ve ever seen: “My comment is www.substack.com/jobs,” she told The Times.
Given that there are a meager six listings on Substack’s jobs site today, does Meservey regret her salty response? “No. If it weren’t tone deaf, I would say the same thing now,” she said. “I would love for your article to say substack.com/jobs again. Because the jobs that we are looking to fill are different. And they’re fewer. But we want to fill them just as badly, if not more.”