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The digital media Axios certifies its success with the sale to Cox for 525 million dollars

2022-08-09T03:19:56.440Z

The founders, from the team that created Politico, will retain editorial control of the outlet Jim VandeHei has done it again. He left the Washington Post to launch Politico in 2007, which soon became the most influential digital native media outlet in the United States. In 2016, following internal tensions over Politico's strategy, VandeHei left the publication along with one of its best-known journalists, Mike Allen, and the publication's chief revenue officer, Roy Schwartz. Together they



Jim VandeHei has done it again.

He left the Washington Post to launch

Politico in 2007,

which soon became the most influential digital native media outlet in the United States.

In 2016, following internal tensions over

Politico's strategy,

VandeHei left the publication along with one of its best-known journalists, Mike Allen, and the publication's chief revenue officer, Roy Schwartz.

Together they founded

Axios,

which since its launch in 2017 has been another resounding success, as certified by the sale to the Cox communication group, for 525 million dollars (about 515 million euros).

Axios

and

Politico

are very different mediums.

While

Politico

publishes long stories, with many sources and a lot of context, Axios has opted for concise messages that highlight what is most relevant.

His news is not only short, but is presented with bullet points to highlight the essential points, with an analytical approach.

They are not literary texts, but almost schemes or reports.

VandeHei defined very graphically that his purpose was to achieve a mixture of

The Economist

and Twitter.

The two mediums, however, have more in common than meets the eye.

They have put quality first.

They do not look for an easy audience and disregard some relevant topics if they see that they cannot provide added value.

They invest in journalists with experience, sources and analytical skills.

And they have a mixed model.

Along with the open publication of their news, they have developed another payment model, and at high prices, in which they use that knowledge and access to sources to distribute exclusive newsletters with news, analysis and passwords for subscribers.

In its sixth year of life, the company is expected to have a turnover of about 100 million dollars, so that the price at which it has been valued represents more than five times its income.

It's a similar multiplier to the one Axel Springer bought

Politico

in 2021, when he paid around $1 billion.

The New York Times

bought

The Athletic

earlier this year for $550 million, about 10 times its revenue.

They are the three largest digital native media operations in the United States.

In 2011,

Axios,

focused on politics, technology and corporates, has been in profit from the start, so it has a strong cash position from previous funding rounds.

This year may end in losses because since 2020 it has embarked on an expansion race to open local editions in many of the main cities in the United States at a time when advertising does not accompany these media.

The buyer is Cox Enterprises, a Georgia group focused primarily on telecommunications but rooted in what is now

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

a newspaper it still owns, along with the

Dayton Daily News

and other Ohio newspapers.

"Our company began in the media business, and we have always been passionate about journalism," Cox CEO Alex Taylor said in the statement announcing the deal.

Cox is both a giant with some $20 billion in annual turnover and a family business.

Cox will control the board of directors with four seats, including one for Taylor.

The three co-founders (VandeHei, Allen and Schwartz) will remain directors.

Axios management will maintain editorial control of the company and management of day-to-day operations.

The deal is structured to incentivize Axios Media's management and current employees to stay with the company.

Axios Media's communications software business, Axios HQ, will become an independent company majority owned by the founders with Cox as the sole minority investor.

Jim VandeHei will be chairman of the company's board of directors and Roy Schwartz will be its CEO.

The division plans to double in size next year and triple its revenue, which last year was $6 million.

After five years of life, Axios Media has more than 500 employees, of which almost 100 work for Axios HQ and more than 75 for Axios Local.

Axios Local is already present in 24 cities and plans to reach 30 by the end of the year.

The ultimate goal would be to reach hundreds of cities over time.

According to the media itself, most of its income from Axios Media comes from the advertising it inserts in its 19 national newsletters, its website and its podcasts.

It has recently launched a professional news subscription, called Axios Pro, to provide investors and professionals with analysis and news about their sectors.

Source: elparis

All business articles on 2022-08-09

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