Axios (stylized as ΛXIOS) is an American news website based in Arlington, Virginia. It was founded in 2016 and launched the following year by former Politico journalists Jim VandeHei, Mike Allen, and Roy Schwartz. The site's name is based on the Greek: ἄξιος (áxios), meaning "worthy".[2]

Axios
Screenshot
Axios' homepage on September 3, 2020
Type of site
News
Available inEnglish
OwnerCox Enterprises
Founder(s)
Key people
Employees500 (2022)[1]
URLwww.axios.com
AdvertisingNative
CommercialYes
Launched2016; 8 years ago (2016)
Current statusActive

Axios's articles are often brief to facilitate quick reading; most are shorter than 300 words and use bullet points. In addition to news articles, Axios produces daily and weekly industry-specific newsletters (including Allen's Axios AM, a successor to his newsletter Politico Playbook for Politico),[2] and two daily podcasts.

On September 1, 2022, Cox Enterprises completed its acquisition of Axios.[3]

History

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VandeHei said he wanted Axios to be a "mix between The Economist and Twitter".[4] The company initially covered a mix of business, politics, technology, health care, and media. VandeHei said Axios would focus on the "collision between tech and areas such as bureaucracy, healthcare, energy, and the transportation infrastructure".[2] At launch, Nicholas Johnston, a former managing editor at Bloomberg L.P., was named editor-in-chief.[5]

In 2016, Axios secured $10 million in a round of financing led by Lerer Hippeau Ventures. Backers include media-partner NBC News, Laurene Powell Jobs' Emerson Collective, Greycroft Partners, and David and Katherine Bradley, owners of Atlantic Media.[2] The company had raised $30 million as of November 2017.[6][7] It planned to focus on "business, technology, politics, and media trends".[2] Axios generates revenue through short-form native advertising and sponsored newsletters.[8] It earned more than $10 million in revenue in its first seven months.[6]

In January 2017, Axios hired as an executive vice president Evan Ryan, the Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs and a former staffer for Vice President Joe Biden.[9] Axios had 6 million unique visitors in September 2017, according to Comscore. As of November 2017, Axios said it had 200,000 subscribers to 11 newsletters, with an average open rate of 52 percent. The same month, it said it would use a new $20 million investment to expand data analysis, product development, fund audience growth, and increase staff to 150, up from 89.[6]

In March and April 2019, HuffPost and Wired reported that Axios had paid a firm to improve its reputation by lobbying for changes to the Wikipedia articles on Axios and Jonathan Swan.[10][11]

In July 2020, Axios received $4.8 million in federal loans from the Paycheck Protection Program for salary replacement during the COVID-19 pandemic. It later returned the money, with VandeHei explaining that the loans had become "politically polarizing".[12] In September 2020, The Wall Street Journal reported that Axios was on track to be profitable in 2020 "despite the economic turmoil stemming from the coronavirus that led to broad layoffs and pay cuts at many media outlets".[13]

In May 2021, The Wall Street Journal reported that merger discussions between Axios and The Athletic had ended, with The Athletic opting to pursue a deal with The New York Times.[14]

On August 8, 2022, Axios announced that it had been sold to Cox Enterprises for $525 million.[15][16] According to the deal, Cox owns 70% of the company, while Axios employees and its founders retain ownership of the remaining 30%.[1] The acquisition was completed the following month.[3]

In March 2023, Axios fired Ben Montgomery, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, after he described a press release about a Ron DeSantis event "exposing the diversity equity and inclusion scam in higher education" as "propaganda" in an email reply.[17]

Content

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Axios's content is designed for digital platforms, such as Facebook and Snapchat, as well as its own website.[2] Its articles are typically less than 300 words long.[18] In addition to its website, Axios content is distributed via newsletters covering politics, technology, healthcare, and other subjects.[19] Among the newsletters is a daily report by co-founder Mike Allen, who formerly wrote Politico's Playbook newsletter.[2] Some Axios newsletters are free, while others are paid. The company sells a subscription service called Axios Pro, which bundles several paid newsletters, starting at $599 a year.[19]

Axios's reporters have made appearances on television news on NBC News and MSNBC through a deal with NBC.[5] Its NBC Universal partnership has featured co-founder Mike Allen on MSNBC's show Morning Joe.[20][21]

According to a 2020 Knight Foundation study, Axios is generally read by a moderate audience, leaning slightly toward the left.[22] Ground News, AllSides, and Media Bias/Fact Check, have all rated Axios as having a "lean left" bias.[23]

In 2021, the documentary series Axios on HBO won the News and Documentary Emmy Award for Outstanding Interview for its interview of President Donald Trump conducted by Jonathan Swan.[24]

See also

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References

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  1. ^ a b Farhi, Paul (August 8, 2022). "Axios, valued at $525 million, to be sold to Cox Enterprises in major media deal". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on August 13, 2022. Retrieved October 19, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Ellison, Sarah (November 30, 2016). "Exclusive: Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei Reveal Their Plan for Media Domination". Vanity Fair. Archived from the original on December 4, 2018. Retrieved September 15, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Following $525 million sale, Clarendon-based Axios aims to make its local newsletters ubiquitous". ARLnow. September 15, 2022. Archived from the original on October 18, 2022. Retrieved October 18, 2022.
  4. ^ Shephard, Alex (May 2, 2017). "Axios and Donald Trump Are Made For Each Other". The New Republic. ISSN 0028-6583. Archived from the original on June 27, 2019. Retrieved May 18, 2019.
  5. ^ a b Alpert, Lukas I. (September 6, 2016). "Politico Co-Founder Jim VandeHei to Launch News Venture for Professionals". The Wall Street Journal. New York. Archived from the original on November 27, 2017. Retrieved November 27, 2017.
  6. ^ a b c Mullin, Benjamin (November 17, 2017). "Axios Raises $20 Million to Fund Newsroom Expansion". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on June 8, 2021. Retrieved November 27, 2017.
  7. ^ Shephard, Alex (May 2, 2017). "Axios and Donald Trump Are Made For Each Other". New Republic. Archived from the original on June 27, 2019. Retrieved May 14, 2017.
  8. ^ Sutton, Kelsey (November 20, 2018). "Why Axios Is Betting Big on Native Content, Sponsored Events and Branded Newsletters". AdWeek. Archived from the original on October 26, 2020. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  9. ^ Fox, Emily Jane (January 3, 2017). "Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen Bring on Washington Insiders to Help Run Axios". The Hive. Archived from the original on December 11, 2020. Retrieved November 27, 2017.
  10. ^ Feinberg, Ashley (March 14, 2019). "Facebook, Axios And NBC Paid This Guy To Whitewash Wikipedia Pages". HuffPost. Archived from the original on April 8, 2019. Retrieved May 17, 2019.
  11. ^ Cohen, Noam (April 7, 2019). "Want to Know How to Build a Better Democracy? Ask Wikipedia". Wired. Archived from the original on April 8, 2019. Retrieved May 17, 2019.
  12. ^ Farhi, Paul (April 29, 2020). "Axios returns coronavirus bailout loan as news organizations grapple with the ethics of taking government funds". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on November 28, 2020. Retrieved March 9, 2021.
  13. ^ Alpert, Lukas (September 30, 2020). "Axios Is Growing and Profitable Despite Bleak News Landscape". The Wall Street Journal. New York. Archived from the original on June 7, 2021. Retrieved October 2, 2020.
  14. ^ Mullin, Benjamin (May 6, 2021). "The Athletic Halts Merger Talks With Axios, Eyes New York Times". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on June 3, 2021. Retrieved May 11, 2021.
  15. ^ Mullin, Benjamin (August 8, 2022). "Axios Agrees to Sell Itself to Cox Enterprises for $525 Million". The New York Times. Archived from the original on August 27, 2022. Retrieved August 8, 2022.
  16. ^ Benton, Joshua (August 9, 2022). "Axios sells for $525 million, to a company that seemed to be getting out of the media business". Nieman Lab. Archived from the original on August 20, 2022. Retrieved August 17, 2022.
  17. ^ "Fla. reporter fired after calling news release on DeSantis event 'propaganda'". The Washington Post. March 15, 2023. Archived from the original on March 16, 2023. Retrieved March 16, 2023.
  18. ^ Dillet, Romain (November 17, 2017). "Media startup Axios raises another $20 million". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on June 8, 2021. Retrieved November 27, 2017.
  19. ^ a b Robertson, Katie (April 11, 2024). "Axios Sees A.I. Coming, and Shifts Its Strategy". New York Times.
  20. ^ Wemple, Erik (January 24, 2017). "NBC boosts Axios out of the gate". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on March 22, 2022. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  21. ^ "Mike Allen: Axios Is For What You Would Talk About With Your "Smart Friend"". realclearpolitics.com. Archived from the original on August 14, 2021. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  22. ^ "American Views 2020: Trust, Media and Democracy" (PDF). Knight Foundation. November 9, 2020. p. 57. Archived (PDF) from the original on August 7, 2020.
  23. ^ "Axios". Ground News. Ground News rates Axios's media bias as leanLeft.
  24. ^ Meade, Amanda (September 29, 2021). "Australian journalist Jonathan Swan wins Emmy for his viral interview with Donald Trump". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on September 13, 2023. Retrieved September 20, 2023.
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