Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. 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!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of 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!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of 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!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

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

Newsletters are growing up and leaving the coop

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

After 10 months as a collection of newsletters created via Substack, the team behind the Everything Bundle is breaking out on its own with $600,000 in seed funding, its own content and newsletter software built in-house, and a refreshed brand as Every.

Why it matters: While services like Substack have made it easier than ever to start a personal newsletter and even generate income from paying subscribers, some authors are figuring out they need more than an internet connection and writing ideas to build out their business.

1 hour ago - Health

U.S. ahead of pace on vaccines

A health care worker administers a dose of the Moderna vaccine in Ruleville, Mississippi. Photo: Rory Doyle/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The U.S. is now vaccinating an average of 2 million people a day, up from 1.3 million in early February.

Why it matters: That puts us on track to hit President Biden's goal of 100 million doses a month ahead of schedule.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Harris breaks tie as Senate proceeds with lengthy debate on COVID relief bill

Photo: Oliver Contreras/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Senate on Thursday voted 51-50 — with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie — to proceed to debate on President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue package, likely setting up a final vote this weekend.

The state of play: Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) is forcing the Senate clerk to read the entire 628-page bill on the floor, a procedural move that will likely add 10 hours to the 20 hours already allotted for debate.