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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

MacKenzie Scott donates another $2.7 billion to 286 organizations

MacKenzie Scott with her former husband, Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon. Photo by Greg Doherty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

MacKenzie Scott announced Tuesday that she and her husband, Dan Jewett, had donated $2.74 billion to 286 different organizations, including community-based nonprofits and organizations focused on racial justice.

Why it matters: It's the next phase of what the New York Times describes as a "highly unconventional approach" to philanthropy from one of the richest women in the world.

Heat wave enveloping West will shatter records, spark wildfires

The sun sets behind power lines in Rosemead, California on June 14, 2021, amid an early season heatwave across much of California this week. Photo by Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

A dangerous and widespread mid-June heat wave is bringing blowtorch-like heat, skyrocketing power demand, and “critical” wildfire danger to much of the West Tuesday through this weekend.

Why it matters: The heat is building in a region that is experiencing a record drought, leading to dangerous fire weather conditions, straining electrical grids, and causing water supplies to dwindle further. The heat itself may prove deadly.

Politico's top editor leaving for NBC

Screenshot: Youtube

Politico’s top editor Carrie Budoff Brown is joining NBC in a high-level executive position at the network that includes overseeing the "Meet the Press" franchise, sources familiar with the discussions tell Axios.

Why it matters: Budoff Brown has been with Politico since its earliest days in 2007 and is admired among newsroom staff. Her departure will be a major loss to the organization.