- Buzzy news startup Axios just named Sara Kehaulani Goo as executive editor, a new position, to help it with audience and audio expansion.
- Goo will also help oversee an expanding newsroom, which is hiring to grow its tech, business, and science coverage.
- In addition to audio, Axios is in talks to make another news show in addition to its just-renewed HBO series, a knowledgeable source said.
- Axios continues to prepare to launch a pricey paid subscription service aimed at big companies early next year.
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Axios made a big hire on the news side, naming Sara Kehaulani Goo as executive editor, a new position, to help with audience and audio expansion. She was hired away from NPR, where she was managing editor, overseeing its social media and audience development strategy.
Goo is set to start December 2 and report to Nicholas Johnston, Axios’ editor in chief. In a memo, Johnston cited Goo’s experience in audience and audio, two new focus areas. Axios has the Pro Rata podcast, covering the intersection of tech, business, and politics.
Read more: High-profile news startup Axios is targeting giant companies with a new service that could put it in competition with Facebook and LinkedIn
Johnston said he and Goo knew each other from The Washington Post, where they both worked as reporters. Johnston said he did his final interview with Goo at the Washington Nationals stadium at the Budweiser Brew House because it was the only time they could meet before sending out a final offer to her.
Goo will also help oversee Axios’ expanding newsroom. It’s hiring to expand its tech, business, and science coverage, and overall, the company is aiming to get to 200 people by the end of the year, up from 170 now.
In addition to audio, Axios is in talks to make another news show in additon to its just-renewed HBO series, a knowledgable source said. The source didn’t say who Axios was talking to, but Axios’ investors include WndrCo, the investment firm of Jeffrey Katzenberg, who also is hunting for news shows for his forthcoming short-form video service Quibi.
Axios also is preparing to launch a pricey paid subscription service aimed at big companies early next year.
Axios was launched in 2017 by Jim VandeHei, Roy Schwartz, and Mike Allen, who sought to take the rapid-fire reporting model they built at Politico for Beltway professionals and apply it to serve busy professionals with succinct newsletters, designed for mobile devices. They started it with $10 million in funding and have raised $30 million total from investors including Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Emerson Collective, Greycroft Partners, and WndrCo.
Here’s Johnston’s memo on Goo’s hire:
We have hired an executive editor: Sara Kehaulani Goo, currently the managing editor of NPR. She’ll start in December. (Keep this secret until later this afternoon!)
Why it matters: Sara will be a transformative leader in helping meet the grand aspirations of the Axios newsroom. She also has a ton of experience in audience and audio, two new focuses of ours.
· I first worked with Sara years and years ago when they were both starting out as Washington Post reporters. Since then Sara has been an editor and manager at the Post, and before joining NPR to oversee their digital strategy, she founded the data reporting group at Pew Research Center.
Bonus moment! I bought a scalped ticket to last weekend’s Nats game to do a final in-person interview with Sara at the stadium. It was the only time we could find to chat before the offer went out Monday morning. We met at the Budweiser Brew House in center field. (Double bonus! My last meeting with Margaret Talev before we hired her to be politics editor was at the Irish Times…. )
HUMONGOUS THANKS to Brittney, Mallory and the talent team for managing this process and helping to land this incredible hire.
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