It's a fun week in the Dallas media world with a newcomer that has landed in town: Axios, a national news site based in Arlington, Virginia, has launched a Dallas-based weekday daily newsletter, fulfilling a goal the company laid out in May.
Their CEO Jim VandeHei told the Washington Post that their plan was to open outlets in cities across the U.S., covering regional politics, business, education, and major cultural events.
The Dallas newsletter debuted on Monday October 4 with a chipper greeting from its two staffers, with a weather report and a reminder that Monday was the last day to register to vote.
"Happy Monday and welcome to the Axios Dallas newsletter! We're Mike and Tasha, and we're truly grateful you've given us your time. We won't waste it," it said.
"Mike" is Michael Mooney, former writer for D Magazine, book author, and contributor to GQ, Outside, Success, and Popular Mechanics.
"Tasha" is Tasha Tsiaperas, former writer for the Dallas Morning News and former digital content producer for WFAA.
The debut featured three items — let's do them Axios style (IE, with bullets and an excess of distracting font treatments):
- a list of dating apps like Match.com and their response to Texas' abortion law
- a press release about the Lights Out initiative
- a Playboy centerfold-style Q&A with Dallas District Attorney John Creuzot, asking what books he's read, what brand of cellphone he uses, and so on
The Creuzot item comes via access from Tsiaperas, which they point out in an editor's note, as follows: "Before she started at Axios, Tasha worked as Creuzot's media relations manager."
Their format is not really stories, it's more a string of one-sentence paragraphs. It can be a little hard to read. Maybe that's why each "story" includes a summary of "Why it matters." Maybe the format is so choppy that readers are unable to comprehend what they've read on their own.
Axios was first founded in January 2017 with a mission to provide "more efficient coverage" of topics shaping the fast-changing world. They're transparent in their policies, and their content is free, although they encourage becoming a member to help support their cause.
They began launching local newsletters in January 2021, and are now in 14 cities including Austin, where they debuted on September 27, with two staffers: Asher Price, former reporter at the Austin American-Statesman and book author; and Nicole Cobler, former reporter at the Austin American-Statesman.
Their stories so far favor clickbaity headlines that begin with adverbs like how and why, such as "Why Austinites live longer" and "How Texas compares on climate disasters."
Axios plans to continue its expansion, with a goal of launching online newsletters in up to 50 cities and regions by 2022.