After months of intrigue and mystery, former Politico notables Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen announced the groundwork of their new strategy for media domination. Named “Axios,” the Greek term for “worthwhile,” this new media venture aspires to break the current traffic trap – termed the “crap trap” by VandeHei.
The goal of Axios will be to advance media news to the space it should have evolved into in the age of online information. Per VandeHei, dominant players in the mainstream media such as The New York Times or The Economist have failed to move into these new arenas due to institutional attachments and decision-making based in part on their 19th century print roots.
He quipped that Axios is best summarized as what the media would be like if “Economist mated with Twitter,” and “smartly narrated all the good stuff its own reporters missed.” The core mission of Axios will be to create reliable, solid content that can co-exist on social media and other platforms as well.
The mission of Axios is to break the mold on the current media business model — the “crap trap” — where traffic and clicks leading to short-term ad revenue are more important than sound reporting, quality information and long-term corporate sustainability. “Google and Facebook are gobbling up the media business—they now control two-thirds of the ad market—and conventional publishers are tanking. The media business needs radical overhaul, not knock-offs or wishful thinking.”
This new outlet will focus primarily on politics, business, technology and media trends. The founders have dedicated their efforts to hiring writers “who are authentically wired and smart in these topic areas.”
VandeHei and Allen have secured $10 million in initial funding for this venture, from sources such as Lerer Hippeau Ventures, NBC News, Emerson Collective, Greycroft Partners, and David and Katherine Bradley.