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EXCLUSIVE: Joe Rogan teases new Texas podcast studio; locals say it's a home on Lake Austin (TIMELINE)
Multiple sources confirm that LA-based podcast host Joe Rogan has purchased an Austin, Texas home overlooking Lake Austin, after working with a prominent local realtor for several weeks and touring multiple high-end homes under a non-disclosure agreement.
The home is said to be the future office and broadcast headquarters for The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, which Spotify recently licensed, reportedly for more than $100-million, sources say.
Timeline of Joe Rogan moving to Austin
An Instagram post this weekend from Rogan gives a glimpse inside his new "Texas JRE studio!" as it's being built.
Rogan has talked about Austin as his potential new home but has not publicly confirmed his new hometown.
Locals say Rogan is said to be still shopping for a home nearby for himself and his family.
The Joe Rogan Experience episodes are typically ranked among the most listened to on Apple's podcast app. JRE landed the deal with Spotify earlier this year.
Rogan posted a glimpse inside his new studio on Instagram on Saturday.
Over the last few months, Rogan has discussed his idea to move to Austin on his podcast, which is currently based in Los Angeles.
"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 said on the July 24 episode of JRE.
Rogan has also said he would fly guests out to Texas for interviews. Some of Rogan's most popular episodes feature interviews with Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, conservative pundit Ben Shapiro and whistleblower Edward Snowden.
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Matthew McConaughey is reportedly weighing a run for Texas governor in 2022.
The Austin resident and Oscar winner has been "quietly making calls to influential people in Texas political circles, including a deep-pocketed moderate Republican and energy CEO" as he decides whether to run, according to Politico.
McConaughey said a gubernatorial run is "a true consideration" while on a March episode of Houston's "The Balanced Voice" podcast.
Although most political strategists doubt McConaughey's commitment and viability as a candidate, some are still intrigued by the possibility.
"I find it improbable, but it's not out of the question," Karl Rove, a top Republican strategist with a long history in Austin, told the political news site. He added that the big question is whether McConaughey would run as a Republican, a Democrat or an independent.
Brendan Steinhauser, an Austin-based GOP strategist, told Politico he's surprised McConaughey isn't being taken more seriously. "Celebrity in this country counts for a lot," he said. "It's not like some C-list actor no one likes. He has an appeal."
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott plans to run for a third term and remains popular among Republican voters, 77% of whom approve of his performance as of April, according to the Texas Politics Project.
Some strategists believe an independent McConaughey run would benefit Abbott. But a recent poll from The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler found that McConaughey would beat Abbott, 45% to 33%, with 22% opting for someone else.
Mimi Swartz, an executive editor at Texas Monthly, mulled a McConaughey run in a recent opinion essay from the New York Times. "Texas may not be ready for a philosopher king as a candidate, much less governor," she wrote. "May the best man win, man."
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Some JuiceLand production facility workers and storefront employees are organizing to demand a wage increases, better working conditions (including air conditioning in the warehouse) and pay transparency, among other asks. They are also calling on staff to strike and customers to boycott the Austin-based company until their demands are met.
JuiceLand responded on Saturday. "We are listening," the company wrote on their Instagram story. "JuiceLand crew now makes guaranteed $15 an hour or more companywide."
JuiceLand, which was founded in 2001 by Matt Shook and now has 35 locations in Austin, Houston and Dallas, acknowledged the rising cost of living across Texas and the added stress of the pandemic in an email to employees on Saturday, part of which @juicelandworkersrights shared on social media. "There's no denying that times are tough and financial security means more now than ever," the company wrote.
Organized JuiceLand workers rejected this proposal, according to a recent post on the @juicelandworkersrights Instagram account, and reiterated their demands.
"Cost of living in Austin is rising exponentially and will only continue to get worse with the tech boom," the post read. "$15 is barely a sustainable living."