Last night I gave my contractually obligated 60 days notice to Patheos, informing them that I would be leaving their site. This decision has come after a lot of soul-searching about the future of The Wild Hunt, and what it should be to our community. While Patheos has certainly grown into a powerful hub for religious expressions and news, I also think their goals and my goals differ in some important ways. I have come to the conclusion that becoming independent again is the best course of action.
I could give you a laundry list of the little things that contributed to my decision to leave, but it would simply re-litigate the matter publicly, something that I don’t want to do. Suffice to say that I believe Patheos places the growth and survival of Patheos first, and while I can’t blame them for having that view, it has often made me feel as if I were simply a page-view generating cog in their drive to become a profitable venture. This drive to constantly increase page views has, in my opinion, led Patheos to make some partnerships and decisions that I find questionable. So rather than become a silent endorser of their system I’ve decided it’s better to go before my name is associated forever with them.
I would like to apologize to the bloggers and writers who I helped Patheos recruit, and who may now feel mixed emotions at my leaving. I can only say that I expressed my opinion of Patheos to them as I experienced it at the time, and that this experience has changed for me. No doubt many will still feel quite happy and comfortable at Patheos, and I am glad for it. I have no desire to poison the well here, as I think religion journalism and religion writing needs powerful advocates. Whatever my personal moral qualms, I have no expectation that everyone else should share them.
So having said all that, please bookmark my old address:
For the moment it will simply redirect to The Wild Hunt at Patheos, but it will eventually house a re-launched Wild Hunt with new features, additional contributors, and zero ads endorsing Mormonism or Liberty University. When this transition happens will very much depend on negotiations happening behind the scenes with Patheos now. They could make me wait a full 60 days before I’m allowed to be independent again, but I hope they’ll release me earlier and allow me to start working.
There’s a lot for me to do, including finding alternate modes of funding The Wild Hunt, but for now let me thank each and every one of you for sticking with me, reading my work, engaging in intelligent and thought-provoking commentary, and helping to tackle serious issues that affect our interconnected communities. It is my hope that you’ll follow me once again back to being an independent media outlet, and that you’ll be as supportive and generous as you’ve all been in the past.
My blessings to you on this day, you’ll hear from me soon!
Jason Pitzl-Waters, The Wild Hunt