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Photo: ATTN:

Former First Lady Michelle Obama is partnering with the digital media company ATTN: to launch a video series on IGTV, Instagram's video platform.

  • “A Year of Firsts” shows inspiring stories about students navigating their first year through college.

Why it matters: The Obamas have maintained a strong media presence through civic media projects on newer tech platforms.

  • Last June, Michelle and Barack Obama's production company Higher Ground announced it would begin working with Spotify to produce podcasts.
  • In 2018, Higher Ground signed a multi-year deal with Netflix to produce TV shows and films that spotlight issues such as race, class, democracy and civil rights.

Details: The show will be produced by ATTN:, a media company that focuses on millennial video, in partnership with Reach Higher, an initiative founded by Obama during her time at the White House to inspire and support students to pursue higher education.

  • The first episode of the six-episode series will premiere exclusively on IGTV in mid-January. The last will appear in June.
  • ATTN: is working with the students directly to document their first year as they explore issues like the academic stress of college, making new friends, college affordability, and physical and mental health while in college.
  • “This series will meet many students where they live — on Instagram — and share candid perspectives about how to overcome barriers," says ATTN: co-founder Matthew Segal.

The big picture: This isn't ATTN:'s first video series with a prominent political figure.

  • ATTN: launched an exclusive video series with former Vice President Joe Biden ahead of the 2018 midterms called “Here’s the Deal.” At the time, it was the first IGTV series to be hosted by a national U.S. politician.

The bottom line: The hope for Reach Higher is that the series will inspire other first-year college students who may find common ground and community among the first-year students being elevated in the series.

  • "By sharing their stories, they’re helping others see that the ups and downs of the first year of college are something everyone goes through — and they’re creating a supportive community for others facing similar challenges,” Obama said in a statement.

Go deeper

Bipartisan group of senators seeks coronavirus stimulus deal

Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine). Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

At least eight Republican and Democratic senators have formed an informal working group aimed at securing new coronavirus spending during the lame-duck session, a move favored by President-elect Biden, two sources familiar with the group tell Axios.

Why it matters: It may be the most significant bipartisan step toward COVID relief in months.

FCC chairman to depart in January

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Ajit Pai will leave his post as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission on Jan. 20, the agency said today.

Why it matters: Pai's Inauguration Day departure is in keeping with agency tradition, and could set up the Biden administration with a 2-1 Democratic majority at the FCC if the Senate fails to confirm another Trump nominee during the lame-duck period.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

GM's shrinking deal with Nikola

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

General Motors will no longer take an equity stake in Nikola Corp. or build its pickup truck, under a revised deal that still envisions GM as a key tech supplier for Nikola's planned line of electric and fuel cell heavy trucks.

Driving the news: The revised agreement Monday is smaller in scope than a draft partnership rolled out in September that had included a $2 billion stake in the startup and an agreement to build its Badger pickup.