405 days ago I pressed send on the first Axios Charlotte newsletter.
32 days before that, I quit my job at the Charlotte Observer with the belief that tomorrow’s media companies are being born right now. My son was 3 months old. Axios Charlotte had $0 revenue and 0 audience.
Due to luck, timing, your support and hard work – we’ve created a media company that reaches 400,000+ people each month and our business model works (low fixed cost, integrated sponsorships, marketplaces for jobs/events and membership).
Our team has done this without outside investment. Katie, Andrew, Cristina and I own 100% of the company. We initially funded the company with a total of $50,000 in savings which we used to pay for technology and editorial expenses before sponsorship contracts started in late 2015.
Because Katie, Andrew, Cristina and I own the company, we have no corporate mothership or investor group to tell us what to do. We get to choose how to grow.
As you look across the United States, metro local media has never been in a worse position. Talent has left or is being fired, and traditional local media outlets have a business model that will simply not work in the future. This is a bad thing for cities across the United States. Cities matter. Local media exists to support cities, help citizens make smarter decisions and hold city leadership accountable.
We’re making a small change to our mission that will have big consequences on our business. We’re changing our mission from “Make Charlotte the smartest, most human city in the world” to “Make cities smarter and more human.”
Our ambitions have increased.
We’d like to announce that we’re launching Raleigh Agenda this summer.
We’re targeting a mid-July launch, but we may move more quickly.
I’d like to thank you for your support over the past year. Thank you.
Now, I’d like to ask you for your help as we launch Raleigh. Other than asking you to sign up for our $5/mo membership program (thank you to the 422 members out there!), we haven’t asked you directly for help.
Will you help us? Here’s how:
(1) Raleigh Newsletter Subscribers. If you’re one of the 15,335 subscribers that gets value from receiving our daily newsletter, please tell your friends in Raleigh to subscribe to our newsletter at RaleighAgenda.com.
(2) Raleigh Social Community. If you’re one of the 66,000 people who connect with us across social media, please tell your friends in Raleigh to follow us on Instagram – @raleighagenda, Twitter – @raleighagenda and Facebook.
(3) Raleigh Connections. If you know Raleigh citizens we should meet (writers, sales contacts, community leaders, entrepreneurs, etc) let us know.
I’ll be honest, I’m terrified. But it’s the right type of terrified. It’s the type of terrified you feel when you’re prepared, but the stakes are higher.
Thank you for your support and as always, we’ll continue to be transparent and direct with you because that’s who we are.