Goodbye, Cali

Popular podcaster Joe Rogan punches one-way ticket from LA to Austin

Popular podcaster Joe Rogan punches one-way ticket from LA to Austin

Joe Rogan
Joe Rogan is moving to Austin, sources confirm. Photo by James Law

Podcaster, stand-up comedian, and mixed-martial-arts commentator Joe Rogan is following through on his promise (or threat?) to pack up and move from Los Angeles to Texas. Final destination: Austin.

Two Austin real estate sources confirm to CultureMap that Rogan recently purchased a home along Lake Austin. One of the sources says Rogan’s new place is near lakefront homes owned by Austin billionaire John Paul DeJoria and movie star Sandra Bullock.

On August 9, Rogan posted a photo on Instagram of construction on his new podcasting studio in Texas. The post doesn’t mention where in Texas the studio is, but it would stand to reason that if Rogan just bought a house in Austin, the studio is located at his new digs.

During a July episode of The Joe Rogan Experience audio and video podcast, Rogan declared that he was pulling up stakes in Southern California and heading to Texas.

“I just want to go somewhere in the center of the country, somewhere it’s easier to travel to both [coasts], and somewhere where you have a little bit more freedom,” Rogan told his listeners and viewers.

“Also, 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 are catching COVID because of this overpopulation issue.”

Other than that, why would Rogan relocate to the Capital City? He owns a major stake in Austin-based Onnit Labs Inc., which sells nutrition supplements and foods, fitness equipment, and athletic gear.

Rogan’s move comes on the heels of his megadeal with the Spotify streaming service — a deal that likely sealed his status as the world’s highest-paid podcaster. In a licensing agreement worth more than $100 million, Rogan’s podcasting archives and new podcasts will debut September 1 on Spotify. Later this year, the digital streaming service will air Rogan’s podcast exclusively.

Forbes estimated in 2019 that Rogan earned $30 million a year from The Joe Rogan Experience, putting him in the No. 1 spot among the highest-paid podcasters. The show garners more than 300 million downloads and streams per month. According to one estimate, Rogan’s net worth is north of $100 million.

The bald and buff Rogan launched his popular and controversy stirring podcast in 2009. Guests on his show have included Elon Musk, Mike Tyson, and Neil deGrasse Tyson, as well as Austin entrepreneur and author Tim Ferriss, conservative Austin radio host Alex Jones, and disgraced ex-professional cyclist Lance Armstrong.

The New York Times noted that Rogan has a “history of giving voice to conspiracy theories, making comments that some see as bigoted toward transgender people, and making a racist remark about a black neighborhood on his podcast.”

He set off a political storm earlier this year when he endorsed Bernie Sanders’ Democratic presidential bid. A few months later, after Sanders exited the race, Rogan raised some eyebrows when he professed his preference for President Trump over Democratic challenger Joe Biden.

Rogan does have plenty of admirers and defenders, though. A recent profile of Rogan published by The Atlantic made the case that he “understands men in America better than most people do. The rest of the country should start paying attention.”

“As popular as he seems to be with quote-unquote regular guys, that’s how unpopular Joe Rogan is with the quote-unquote prestige wing of popular culture — Emmy voters, HBO subscribers, comedy nerds. Thought leaders. Thought followers,” according to The Atlantic. “There are plenty of Joe Rogan fans among them, too, but they tend not to bring it up.”