Axios to launch fifth vertical, with an emphasis on energy
Not two months into its launch, Axios is moving into its fifth vertical. The Jim VandeHei-helmed startup will launch coverage of the energy sector in March, after poaching two reporters, Ben Geman from National Journal and, more recently, Amy Harder from the Wall Street Journal. Harder’s departure was announced via an internal memo at the Journal Monday morning; Geman started at Axios in the middle of last week.
“We knew that energy would be an area of focus,” Axios editor Nick Johnston said. “There’s been this collision of business and politics and technology, and energy’s been directly affected.
“I have this embarrassment of reporting riches to cover it,” he added.
Harder, who spent three years at the Journal and six years before that at National Journal covering energy policy, covering a wide range of topics, including the departments of energy and environmental protection, carbon taxes, as well as hot-button topics like fracking. While her mandate is to deliver news, she will focus more on delivering quick-hit pieces of insight, and gathering scoops.
“I’m excited to do only scoops and analysis,” Harder said, though she stressed that she expects her coverage will be digestible even for people who haven’t waded deep into the weeds of energy policy. “I think too often reporters who have been covering a beat for a long time don’t realize when they’re in the weeds,” she said.
That energy newsletter, along with a tech newsletter which will be helmed by new hiree Ina Fried, will launch in March. Harder will also help Axios stand up an energy-focused events business, a strategy Axios is busy pursuing for its other verticals as well.
Axios’s move into energy was anticipated by observers. Its cofounder, Jim VandeHei, frequently mentioned it among the topics he wanted to cover in the months that preceded the launch, starting with a kind of unveiling he did in partnership with Vanity Fair.
It may well also have been anticipated by its advertising partners. BP was among Axios’s launch sponsors, part of the company’s pursuit of blue chip advertising partners, and according to Axios president Roy Schwartz, energy companies will be key to monetizing its coverage.
The key will be transparency. “If BP runs one week, then Chevron can run the next week, and a solar panel maker can run the week after that,” Schwartz said. “The labeling just has to be clear.”
Member ExclusiveMedia Briefing: What to expect from the Digiday Publishing Summit
This week's Media Briefing previews the upcoming Digiday Publishing Summit, which kicks off on Sept. 27 and will feature speakers from media companies including The Washington Post, BDG, Group Nine Media and Essence.
How the pandemic has been a real a buzz kill for office happy hour bonding, culture
As COVID-19 crawls on, more companies are rethinking the wisdom of mixing booze and the stresses of the workplace.
‘Football has lost its soul’: How Copa90 is repositioning itself around the creator economy
Copa90’s overseers believe there’s another shift happening in tandem with the corporatization of the sport that has the potential to be just as transformative
SponsoredHow retailers can be ready for holiday shoppers this year
Suchi Sastri, managing director and partner, Boston Consulting Group As the holiday season approaches and the pandemic continues to evolve, retailers want to know what to expect. Will e-commerce continue to grow at the rate it did last year? How big of a role will in-store shopping play in holiday shopping? While it’s still early, […]
Why The New York Times’ Wirecutter is ramping up focus on style
In early 2021, Wirecutter soft-launched a new dedicated style section and is is currently hiring for style-dedicated roles.
Meet the ‘absolutist’ with the Section 230 tattoo on Google’s new misinformation policy team
Part of a nascent government affairs and public policy team at Google, Jess Miers is a die-hard fan of the 26-word law that gives legal cover to big tech platforms.