Axios, a national news site based in Arlington, Virginia, is launching a Dallas-based daily newsletter that will collate local news stories and developments, featuring content generated by Axios staffers as well as culled from other news sites.
Dallas is one of eight cities that the organization has on its expansion list for 2021, along with Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Philadelphia, Columbus Ohio, Nashville, and Washington DC.
Axios co-founder and chief executive Jim VandeHei tells the Washington Post that these local operations will have two or three reporters on staff, who will cover regional politics, business, education, and major cultural events.
None of the cities will have offices or production facilities. Sales, promotion, and tech support will be handled at the company's headquarters, although they anticipate earning revenue from local advertisers.
"Most of our investment is going to be in journalism," VandeHei says. "If we can hire two or three of the best reporters in each market, we think we can develop a loyal following."
Their goals include "curate the best in local reporting and drive readers to their sources," and "deliver exclusive scoops and explore local trends."
Stories are broken into bite-size chunks — what newspapers used to call "chunky text" — with a headline "Why it matters." Just in case you need help navigating the bite-size chunks of copy.
The Twin Cities newsletter for May 20 starts with a staff-reported story about the pandemic's toll on movie theaters. It has six sets of bullets, which are devices to make copy easier to read/comprehend. Six sets of bullets in a single story is a lot.
There is also a staff-reported story on a new burger joint, which one presumes is considered a "major cultural event."
Other stories in the newsletter are recirculated stories from other sites in the Axios newsletter empire.
Axios was launched in January 2017 with a mission to provide "more efficient coverage" of the topics shaping the fast-changing world. To their credit, they say they will never have an opinion section. They're also transparent in their policies, and their content is free to readers.
They began launching local newsletters in January 2021, first in the Twin Cities, followed by five more cities: Charlotte, Denver, Des Moines, Tampa, and northwest Arkansas (which is "coming soon").
The Post story notes that HuffPost once tried a similar initiative before shutting it down. Axios has a valuable partnership with HBO where it broadcasts a weekly news and interview show.
The company plans to continue its expansion, with a goal of launching online newsletters in up to 50 cities and regions by 2022.