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Bustle Hires Viacom Exec Kate Robinson as Head of Business Development (EXCLUSIVE)

Bustle has tapped Kate Robinson, a nine-year Viacom veteran, to lead content distribution and partnerships for the women’s lifestyle and news digital publisher as senior VP of business development.

Robinson, who officially started at the company on Oct. 17, will spearhead distribution deals for the company’s two brands, Bustle and Romper, with over-the-top platforms and traditional media companies. Founded in 2013, Bustle claims to have a mostly female audience of 45 million global unique visitors per month and about 30 million in the U.S.

“We’re starting to feel like a traditional media company, and I can’t think of anyone better than Kate, who knows how traditional media companies and cable networks operate, to help us move forward,” Bustle CEO and founder Bryan Goldberg said.

At Viacom, Robinson most recently VP of digital business development, negotiating and managing partnerships for content distribution and video syndication across brands including MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and VH1 to platforms like Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV. Before that she worked on Viacom’s MTV Networks digital team as senior director of business development and partner relations. Prior to joining Viacom in 2007, she led business development for mobile video startup Juice Wireless and held a strategic marketing position at Lucent Technologies.

“The upward trajectory Bustle has developed over the past few years was so impressive to me,” Robinson said. “The editorial team has created an authoritative destination for women seeking authentic content and the audience growth proves the Bustle voice is one that wants to be heard.”

Bustle has a small video presence today, but Goldberg said it will increase output with a focus on quality over quantity — series that Robinson will take to OTT services and TV networks. Last week it launched the first episode of “NSFWomen” (“Not Safe For Women”), a six-part documentary series about gender-inequality issues, on Facebook (where it has 5.8 million views). It also debuted “Love, Factually,” a series exploring the mental and physical science of relationships.

The New York City-based company has 170 full-time employees, about 70 of which are editorial. Its video team comprises 14 people (13 of whom are women).

Bustle has ties to traditional media: Its investors include Time Warner Investments and Saban Capital Group, which owns a minority stake in Univision Communications, along with venture-capital firms including General Catalyst Partners and Social Capital.

Competitors include Conde Nast (whose brands include Glamour and Self), Hearst (Cosmopolitan and Elle), Refinery29, SheKnows and Jezebel (now owned by Univision Communications after its Gawker Media deal).

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