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Photo: Olivier Knox

Olivier Knox, a veteran political reporter who most recently served as SiriusXM's chief Washington correspondent, will take over as anchor of The Washington Post's daily political newsletter, "The Daily 202," executives tell Axios.

The big picture: Knox replaces James Hohmann, who was named a columnist for WashPost's Opinions section in November.

Flashback: Hohmann launched the "Daily 202" newsletter in 2015. The newsletter has since grown to become one of The Post's most successful email products, reaching hundreds of thousands of people, many of which live outside of the Beltway.

  • Today, more than a dozen journalists support products that are a part of the growing 202 franchise, such as Health 202, Energy 202, Finance 202, Technology 202 and Cybersecurity 202 and Power Up.
  • The franchise, which also reaches key Beltway influencers, is often leveraged for The Post's news-driven events and newsmaker interviews. It also includes a podcast, hosted by Hohmann, called The Big Idea.

Details: Knox will start at the Post next Monday and will officially take over the newsletter after the Inauguration. He will report to Rachel Van Dongen, the editor of PowerPost, a vertical on all things Washington D.C.

  • While exact plans around the newsletter are still in flux, Knox says the plan is to build on some of the features that Daily 202 readers have come to know, like "The Big Idea" section, as well as to focus the newsletter on original reporting and analysis from within the Washington Post newsroom. The newsletter, he says, will also continue to highlight original work from other newsrooms.
  • "Newsletters combine urgent news coverage with the ability to provide perspective," Knox told Axios in an interview. "Ideally, the Daily 202 audience is boundless."
  • While Knox is new to newsletter writing, he's not new to Washington. Knox has spent over 20 years covering Congress, The White House, and national politics. He served as president of the White House Correspondents' Association from 2018-2019.
  • Most recently, Knox hosted a live weeknight show called “The Big Picture,” on the Sirius XM POTUS channel. Before that he served as Yahoo News' Chief Political Correspondent and covered politics for 15 years at Agence France-Presse (AFP).

The big picture: Knox's hiring comes as more Washington-based outlets look to expand their political and policy newsletter teams.

  • Sources tell Axios that several reporters and editors are being tapped to be a part of an expanded version of Politico's Playbook franchise, following the departure of former Playbook authors Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer, who recently launched a competitor to the Playbook franchise called Punchbowl.

Bottom line: "Our industry perpetually self reinventing," Knox says. "It's both healthy and necessary."

Go deeper

Jan 27, 2021 - Economy & Business

Wanted: New media bosses, everywhere

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Reuters, HuffPost and Wired are all looking for new editors. Soon, The New York Times will be too.

Why it matters: The new hires will reflect a new generation — one that's addicted to technology, demands accountability and expects diversity to be a priority.

Schools desperate for substitute teachers

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

School districts and officials nationwide are begging parents to step in, loosening requirements for substitute teachers and, in one case, asking the National Guard for help as last-ditch efforts to stay open amid the latest COVID-19 surge.

Why it matters: Substitute teachers have emerged as a vital part of schools' reopening efforts, but they are in short supply after years of being overlooked and undervalued.

The future of retail: more self-service

Zliide makes a tag that attaches to clothing for self-checkout in retail stores. Photo: Jennifer A. Kingson/Axios.

Self-checkout, self-service, autonomous stores, DIY: The retail world is prepping for a future with fewer human workers and more technology involved in selling us stuff.

Why it matters: While 72% of retail sales are still expected to take place in brick-and-mortar stores in 2024, merchants are busy installing interactive signage, smart price tags, and remote checkout systems that point to a very different customer experience.

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