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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

Dems' immigration plan hits major roadblock

Senate Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Senate parliamentarian ruled Sunday that Democrats cannot include pathways to citizenship in the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package, per a copy of the ruling obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: It's a blow to Democrats who hoped to provide pathways for millions of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. Using reconciliations would have allowed them to pass politically contentious immigration changes with only 50 votes, as opposed to the usual 60 required.

FBI says human remains found in Wyoming likely Gabby Petito

Gabby Petito. Photo: FBI

Human remains found in Teton County, Wyoming, are "consistent with the description of" missing 22-year-old Gabby Petito, said FBI Denver official Charles Jones at a news conference Sunday.

Details: The cause of death had yet to be determined, but Jones said: "Full forensic identification has not been completed to confirm 100% that we found Gabby, but her family has been notified of this discovery." Authorities said they're continuing the search for her fiancé, Brian Laundrie.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Beto not even best Dem against Abbott

Beto O'Rourke speaks at a rally at the Texas State Capitol in June. Photo: Sergio Flores/Getty Images

Actor Matthew McConaughey’s nine-point lead in a theoretical matchup against Greg Abbott shows just how vulnerable the hard-right Texas governor could be in a general election.

Why it matters: Abbott has won conservative accolades for his abortion, mask and vaccine bans. Axios reported Sunday that former Rep. Beto O’Rourke is preparing to announce a gubernatorial challenge — but a recent poll shows he’s not even the most popular Democrat in the state.