ATLANTA—Cox Enterprises has announced the acquisition of the news outlet Axios Media Inc. and is planning to invest in expanding Axios into more cities and covering more national topics and more premium niches for professionals.
Terms of the deal were not released but reports have valued the transaction at $525 million.
This acquisition follows a previous investment in Axios by Cox Enterprises in the fall of 2021 and is part of Cox's ongoing goal to grow and diversify the company.
"With so much happening in the world, Axios plays a critical role in delivering balanced, trusted news that people need," said Cox Enterprises chairman and CEO Alex Taylor, who will join the Axios board. "Our company started in the media business, and we have always had a passion for journalism. Bringing a forward-thinking organization like Axios into Cox Enterprises is exciting for us on many levels, and we look forward to helping them continue to scale and grow."
Axios co-founders Jim VandeHei, Mike Allen and Roy Schwartz will continue to hold substantial stakes in the company and will lead editorial and day-to-day business decisions.
"We have found our kindred spirit for creating a great, trusted, consequential media company that can outlast us all," said Axios CEO Jim VandeHei. "Our shared ambitions should be clear: to spread clinical, nonpartisan, trusted journalism to as many cities and as many topics as fast as possible."
Axios launched in January 2017 based on the shared belief that sharper, more focused, more efficient coverage was needed on the topics shaping the fast-changing world. The company is known for its Smart Brevity communication formula. It's built by journalists to prioritize essential news, explain its impact on readers and deliver both in a concise and visual format.
The Axios communications software business, Axios HQ, will become an independent company majority-owned by the founders and will include Cox as sole minority investor. Jim VandeHei will be chairman of the board of Axios HQ and Roy Schwartz will be its CEO.
"We are excited about entering into this new chapter with Cox and the opportunities we can explore with Axios HQ as a separate business," said Roy Schwartz, president of Axios. "For both companies, our mission is to help as many people and companies get smarter, faster on what matters."
Cox Enterprises' current media companies — The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Dayton Daily News and other Ohio newspapers — are not impacted by the deal and each will continue to operate independently.
Cox Enterprises, which is a private company with about $20 billion in annual revenue, also owns Cox Communications, a major cable and broadband company.
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George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.