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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

When your smartphone can access any song, movie or book ever created, and you can use it to do anything from ordering food to finding dates to getting rides, companies are realizing they need a new weapon in the war for attention: an editor in chief.

The big picture: Because it's never been harder for companies to reach distracted consumers, more and more firms are hiring editors and content creators to build everything from podcasts to news websites to print magazines to grab your interest.

As my colleague, Axios media trends reporter Sara Fischer, wrote 18 months ago(!): " In the smartphone-dominated world — where any media company can access almost anyone at anytime — the fight is shifting to dominating a person's attention."

So there's a growing need for the type of people who can steer teams to tell stories and deliver information in a way that gets potential customers to take heed.

Driving the news:

By the numbers: The proportion of people on LinkedIn who report they work in content/editor roles at non-media companies has grown by 32% in the past decade, according to LinkedIn data. The biggest increases were at "consumer," "high tech" and "corporate" firms, like marketers and consultancies.

Yes, but: Sara insists that I note much of this content creation is not typical news or journalism; many of these editor jobs are more accurately described as "head of content" roles.

Our thought bubble from Axios Chief Financial Correspondent Felix Salmon: "Basically the adjacency model is a gruesomely inefficient way for companies to communicate. It’s, like, here’s something you do know that you want to read, let’s put it next to something you don’t particularly want to read, and maybe you might read that anyway."

  • "Much better to create something that people do want to read directly, and give them that. You know how every company is a technology company? Well maybe on some level every company is a media company, too. There’s no point felling trees in forests if nobody hears them."

Editor-in-chief's note: The writer of this piece, about how editor in chief is the job of the future, is the editor in chief of Axios. He is aware of how preposterous this might look. 🙄

Go deeper

Updated 8 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring hazards ranging from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow, to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Contact tracing fizzles across America — New clues emerge on long COVID — Omicron is finally burning out — It's very difficult to get access to antiviral COVID treatments — Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: Virginia AG says public colleges can't mandate COVID vaccines —Alaska governor joins Texas lawsuit over National Guard vaccine mandate — Navy discharges 45 sailors for refusing vaccine — Spotify to remove Neil Young's music after his Joe Rogan ultimatum — White House: 60M households have ordered free COVID-19 rapid tests.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker
12 hours ago - World

Biden will move U.S. troops to Eastern Europe "in the near term"

President Biden boards Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews on Jan. 28. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said on Friday he plans to move U.S. troops to Eastern European and NATO countries “in the near term.”

Driving the news: “Not too many” U.S. troops, Biden added in remarks to reporters at Joint Base Andrew upon returning from a trip to Pennsylvania.