Cox Enterprises’s acquisition of Axios Media is being seen as a commitment to journalism and a natural progression for both companies.
Cox had already started buying into Axios late last year, and co-founders Jim VandeHei, Mike Allen and Roy Schwartz will still lead editorial and day-to-day business decisions and have substantial stakes in the company.
The announcement reads like a statement of mutual admiration, Cox chairman and chief executive Alex Taylor talking of Axios’ “critical role in delivering balanced, trusted news that people need” and VandeHei of a “kindred spirit for creating a great, trusted, consequential media company that can outlast us all”.
“Our shared ambitions should be clear: to spread clinical, nonpartisan, trusted journalism to as many cities and as many topics as fast as possible,” he added.
Family-owned – with a major shareholder in regional Australia – Cox has a long history in media and owns the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Dayton Daily News. With annual revenue now of $20 billion , it was founded in 1898 by Ohio governor James Cox. Operating subsidiaries include Cox Communications and Cox Automotive, while it has pushed into new industries and emerging technologies including investments in cleantech.
Axios launched in January 2017 and is known for its ‘smart brevity’ formula, used by its team of journalists to prioritise news and explain its impact.