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Three views on the future of media startups


The Equity crew this week chewed through a trio of media stories, each dealing with private companies and their successes. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Axios was growing rapidly and near profitability. The paper also broke news that Morning Brew might exit to Business Insider for a hefty $75 million potential payout. Meanwhile, we covered the news that The Juggernaut raised $2 million for its paywalled publication focused on South Asian news.

The conversation, as a result, was a fairly indulgent and nerdy affair. It’s always fun to celebrate other journalists finding success in different ways, and this week felt like a moment for the media news landscape. Because the topic is so near to our hearts, for better or worse, we’re fitting our broader thoughts into this post about the future of media.

Our own Natasha Mascarenhas writes about how inequity in media and who gets to succeed, Danny Crichton has some pretty strong feelings about digital advertising and Alex Wilhelm writes about how the varied methods of recent media success are themselves heartening.

So this weekend let’s pause for a minute to ruminate on the upstart media world, a place where too often private capital and media economics have had a falling out.

Natasha Mascarenhas

This week, it was announced that advertising might not be a bad idea after all. Axios is reportedly expected to become profitable this year, and Morning Brew, a free newsletter about business insights, could get acquired for between $50 million to $75 million by Business Insider. Both of these media companies make money off of newsletters. And if you end the story there, it’s clear that news isn’t simply a fundamental aspect of our democracy — it makes money, too.

But, the story shouldn’t end there.





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