Nieman Foundation at Harvard
Okay, if Facebook and Google aren’t publishers: How about editors?
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April 17, 2017, 2:49 p.m.
Business Models

Elite Daily has done pretty well for a publication that doesn’t do very well.

The Daily Mail’s parent company, DMGT, acquired it for at least $26 million in January 2015, then announced at the end of last year that it was writing down that investment because of Elite Daily’s “disappointing” performance. Nonetheless, Bustle, another site aimed at millennials, has acquired Elite Daily, presumably for a fair bit less than what Daily Mail paid. Business Insider reported the news Monday, and here is DMGT’s press release. Bustle’s parent company is now known as Bustle Digital Group; it also includes millennial mom site Romper.

“This property is valuable, I know it’s valuable,” Bustle founder (and Bleacher Report co-founder) Bryan Goldberg told Business Insider. “If there’s one person who doesn’t care what the press thinks, it’s me.” (The New Yorker on Goldberg in 2013: “When Goldberg talks about his entry into women’s publishing, he can bring to mind an episode of The Simpsons, in which Homer, discovering that bacon, ham, and pork chops all come from pigs, calls them a ‘wonderful, magical animal.'”)

The acquisition is meant to help with video and social media stuff. Elite Daily has 1.4 million Instagram followers and 3.2 million Facebook followers, compared to Bustle’s respective 1.6 million and 1.4 million. “Elite Daily, Refinery29 and Bustle are what I hear when I ask [our users] what they read,” Goldberg told Business Insider. (Refinery29 recently restructured after struggling to break 20 million monthly uniques, and has become less interested in covering hard news than it claimed to be at one point.)

Elite Daily’s “About” page shows upwards of 50 staffers. Its executive editor, Caitlin Abber, tweeted Monday that she’s now out of work. Bustle’s staff page shows a whopping 113 employees.

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