Get the latest market trends in your inbox

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with the Axios Markets newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The pandemic has been a nightmare for thousands of journalists out of work —and for additional thousands trying to navigate jobs amid fear and uncertainty.

Why it matters: Recent departures, deals, layoffs and restructurings amid the pandemic have journalists questioning whether there's stability anywhere within the industry.

Driving the news: Ezra Klein's departure from Vox announced Friday sent shockwaves across Twitter.

  • Klein, who had co-founded the publication seven years ago, announced he was leaving to become a columnist and podcaster at The New York Times.
  • His colleague, Lauren Williams — Vox's editor-in-chief and senior vice president — is also leaving to start her own non-profit media firm focused on Black communities.

Klein becomes the Times' latest high-profile hire in recent months. The Grey Lady hired Kara Swisher away from Vox last year. It has since poached several big names, including former BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith and former Bloomberg columnist Shira Ovide.

  • The Times' investment in mega-stars is part of a broader consolidation trend in the media industry, in which giants expand while smaller outlets continue to get bought up or fade away.
  • On Thursday, BuzzFeed struck a deal to acquire the progressive news website HuffPost from Verizon Media. Verizon Media reportedly paid Buzzfeed to be able to offload the title.

Some high-profile journalists have been striking out on their own amid the pandemic, seeking in several high-profile cases to get back to their blogging roots. Companies like Vox and HuffPost that emerged from the weblog movement eventually matured into corporate newsrooms.

  • Last week, Klein's former colleague and Vox.com co-founder Matthew Yglesias said he was leaving the company to start his own newsletter.
  • Glenn Greenwald last month quit The Intercept, an outlet he cofounded, after 7 years, citing efforts by his editors to "censor" articles critical of President-elect Biden.

The big picture: While the exits at Vox aren't necessarily related, they do represent a greater trend: Brands that were once considered disruptive digital upstarts now must navigate a competitive media market without the startup hype — and, often, without their founders.

  • In the past eight months, companies that were once considered the future of journalism, like Vice, Buzzfeed, Quartz and Vox Media, have let hundreds of people go.
  • They themselves are now being challenged by a new crop of digital media upstarts with a more specialized focus on newer kinds of products, like newsletters, streaming and podcasts.
  • They also face competition from some well-positioned legacy outlets, like The Times, that have both authority and deep pockets.

Yes, but: Those legacy companies, including The Times, as well as The Atlantic and ESPN, have also faced layoffs and headwinds related to the pandemic.

Local news companies, already under enormous financial pressure, have been hit particularly hard by the advertising dropoff related to the pandemic.

By the numbers: In total, it's been estimated that more than 11,000 journalism jobs were lost in the first half of the year. Thousands more layoffs are expected by year's end.

The bottom line: The uncertainty has made it tough for journalists to find any sure bets for survival.

  • While there's more opportunity to do journalism across a greater array of media — podcasting, streaming, newsletters, and more — there's little certainty around what type of employment will still exist in five years and what type of company will have the means to create new jobs and products.
  • While some high-profile stars will continue to build their franchises, most of the tens of thousands of journalists across the country will continue to face hardships.

Go deeper

20 hours ago - Economy & Business

Streaming measurement company Antenna raises $4.2 million seed round

Jonathan Carson & Rameez Tase, Co-founders of ANTENNA

Antenna, a new streaming measurement company, has raised a $4.2 million seed round from Raine Ventures, the venture arm of The Raine Group, which has invested in high-profile media and tech companies like Soundcloud and Foursquare.

Why it matters: The transition to digital streaming and mobile phones has created an opportunity for new entrants to disrupt the media measurement industry.

Coronavirus hospitalizations top 100,000 for the first time

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking ProjectHarvard Global Health Institute; Cartogram: Danielle Alberti and Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

More than 100,000 Americans are now in the hospital with coronavirus infections — a new record, an indication that the pandemic is continuing to get worse and a reminder that the virus is still very dangerous.

Why it matters: Hospitalizations are a way to measure severe illnesses — and severe illnesses are on the rise across the U.S. In some areas, health systems and health care workers are already overwhelmed, and outbreaks are only getting worse.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
15 mins ago - Economy & Business

Our make-believe economy

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Federal Reserve and global central banks are remaking the world's economy in an effort to save it, but have created something of a monster.

Why it matters: The Fed-driven economy relies on the creation of trillions of dollars — literally out of thin air — that are used to purchase bonds and push money into a pandemic-ravaged economy that has long been dependent on free cash and is only growing more addicted.