Axios Nashville

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August 09, 2022

Tuesday is here, and so are we.

❀️ Thanks to our 102 Axios Nashville members for supporting local journalism. Join them by becoming a member.

Today's newsletter is 872 words β€” a 3-minute read.

1 big thing: Housing sales drop

Illustration of a real estate sale sign shaped like a downward point arrow
Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Home sales in the Nashville area continued their summertime slump last month.

  • Closings dropped a whopping 19% in July compared to the same timeframe a year ago, per Greater Nashville Realtors.
  • That follows smaller year-over-year slips earlier this year.

Why it matters: Those figures are the latest sign the housing market is cooling off after a red-hot period.

  • Experts framed the ongoing slowdown as a healthy return to equilibrium after historic highs.

What they're saying: Laurel Graefe, regional executive for the Nashville branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, addressed the broader trend at an event last week, before the latest numbers were released.

  • "It would make sense to me that we're seeing a little bit of a lull right now as things come back into balance," she said.
  • "This feels like a bit of a normalization."

Yes, but: Graefe said demand remains robust in the Nashville area, driven by residents from other parts of the country who continue to relocate here.

By the numbers: There were 3,459 closings last month, down from 4,314 last July, per Greater Nashville Realtors.

Between the lines: The housing inventory is creeping up as sales ease off and houses stay on the market for longer periods of time. But prices remain strong.

  • The median price of a single-family home in July was $490,000 compared to $415,075 last year.

2. Remembering Olivia Newton-John

Olivia Newton-John performing.
Photo: Cole Bennetts/Getty Images

Olivia Newton-John, who died yesterday after a battle with cancer, was widely known for her power on the pop charts and on the big screen.

  • But her delicate voice animated some iconic country hits in the 1970s, and the Nashville establishment recognized her star power years before "Grease."

Flashback: She won a Grammy for best female country vocal performance for her 1973 single "Let Me Be There." In 1974, she won female vocalist of the year at the Country Music Association awards and scored an entertainer of the year nomination.

  • "I Honestly Love You" and "Have You Never Been Mellow" were among her biggest crossover hits, which appeared on the country charts and topped the Billboard Hot 100.

🎧 Listen: Newton-John's 1975 single "Please Mr. Please" is a classic ode to a country jukebox.

3. Axios sold: Why it matters

Axios co-founders Mike Allen, Jim VandeHei and Roy Schwartz in the Axios newsroom.
Axios co-founders Mike Allen, Jim VandeHei and Roy Schwartz. Photo: courtesy of Axios

Axios has signed a deal to sell to its most recent lead investor, Cox Enterprises, the companies announced yesterday. The cash deal values the company at $525 million, as reported by Axios' Sara Fischer.

  • Axios becomes one of a handful of digital news startups that have sold for more than $500 million in the past decade.

Why it matters: The deal is structured to ensure investments will continue to flow into local news at a time when most commercial investors have abandoned local markets.

  • Axios was founded in 2016 by the same leaders who built Politico, with a focus on politics, tech and business. In 2020, it began a significant expansion into local news.
  • Cox is one of the nation's largest family-controlled companies. After getting its start in local newspapers, it wants to ensure local news remains a part of its legacy. It still owns the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Dayton Daily News.

What they're saying: Axios CEO Jim VandeHei called the news "great for Axios, for our shareholders and American journalism. It allows us to think and operate generationally, with a like-minded partner β€” and build something great and durable that lives long after we are gone."

πŸ’­ Axios publisher Nick Johnston's thought bubble: This is a big deal for continued investment in local news. We'll expand to more cities and hire more reporters for existing newsletters.

  • Thank YOU for being a reader and helping make this success possible. And tell your friends to sign up!

Read more if you want the details.

4. The Setlist

Illustration of a vinyl record labeled "The Setlist"
Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

🎀 The Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival will take place June 15-18 next year. (Bonnaroo's Twitter)

🏨 A hotel is planned for property near Municipal Auditorium. (Nashville Post, subscription)

🍽 The Nashville airport is adding several restaurant and bar offerings. (Tennessean, subscription)

Take your career to the next level

πŸ’Ό Check out who's hiring on our Job Board.

  1. General Ledger Support Specialist at Paychex.
  2. Senior Marketing Coordinator/Proposal Manager at HDR.
  3. Director, Strategic Sourcing- Information Technology at HCA Healthcare.

Want more opportunities? Check out our Job Board.

Hiring? Post a job.

5. Talking tech with a "Drag Race" all-star

Photo illustration of a grid of smartphone screens, the center one showing an image of Jaida Essence Hall.
Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photo: Marco Ovando

Stars from "RuPaul's Drag Race" are bringing their fully fabulous Werq the World tour to the historic Ryman Auditorium tonight.

Our Axios colleague and "Drag Race" superfan Selene San Felice checked in with the show's season 12 winner and "All Stars" season seven competitor Jaida Essence Hall about how she interacts with tech in between performances.

πŸ‘‡ First tap of the day: Twitter. "I want to see if I missed anything crazy! I follow a lot of fashion accounts to find inspiration for new looks. And I like cake accounts too, those cakes that look like real things."

πŸ—ž Go-to news source: CNN, the New York Times and Queerty for all things LGBTQ+.

🎧 Podcast of choice: "My podcast, 'Hall & Closet,' featuring myself and Heidi N Closet. Not the most reliable news, I'll say that right now."

  • Also: "This is the craziest thing … brown noise. Nobody's talking about it, but it's a life-changer. It's this fuzzy noise that sounds like a plane almost, like gravelly. It's very weird and very soothing."

πŸ“š Reading list: AndrΓ© Leon Talley's biography "The Chiffon Trenches."

πŸ“§ Inbox zero? "Oh my god, I'm the worst! My email is mostly junk but I have 17,000 email notifications right now and like 1,000 text message notifications."

πŸ”€ Nate's song of the day is "Twist of Fate" by the iconic Olivia Newton-John. His album of the day is the collection of Olivia Newton-John cover songs by Juliana Hatfield.

πŸ’ƒ Adam is watching this "Drag Race" lip sync to "Twist of Fate."