Microcontent platform Axios’ big exit
The news platform known for its minimalism is set to be acquired by Cox Enterprises for $525 million
Axios announced on August 8 is being acquired by Cox Enterprises for $525 million. That sure is impressive for a young digital media company founded in 2016…
As part of the deal (which is expected to close in the fall), Axios co-founders Jim VandeHei, Mike Allen and Roy Schwartz “will continue to hold substantial stakes in the company and will lead editorial and day-to-day business decisions”.
I’ve always been a fan of Axios’ microcontent approach (aka “Smart Brevity”) which allows readers to consume articles/newsletters in a short amount of time. It’s definitely been a source of inspiration for my own content production endeavors I must admit. Axios is definitely not the first news company to embrace a minimalistic philosophy yet its journalistic integrity has always been high in my opinion.
So in true Smart Brevity fashion, here comes the bullet points:
What’s in it for Axios?
- It provides much needed capital to support a large, general news operation for years to come.
- The co-founders are expected to stay on and retain editorial freedoms.
- With an increasingly unstable economic environment, the timing and scope of the deal made sense.
What’s in it for Cox?
- Cox’ core product offering is telecom services in 19 U.S. states (with a focus on cable TV and broadband internet). The acquisition will allow the company to fully re-enter the local U.S. news market in the “digital era” (Axios has been launching many “city editions” since January, aka “Axios Local”).
It’s important to note that Axios will spin off its software-as-a-service communication product Axios HQ into a separate company which enables organizations to emulate Smart Brevity in written content. According to Adweek, Cox Enterprises will take a minority stake in its ownership.
This story was first published on The PhilaVerse (my Substack newsletter).