The newly formed division will include lifestyle brand Tasty, home brand Nifty, and health and wellness brand Goodful, along with two new outlets: beauty and style brand As/Is and parenting brand Playfull.
Lee, who formerly served as senior vice president and general manager of video at Meredith Corporation, will oversee BuzzFeed Media Brands’ editorial and business operations, as well as development and partnership for the company’s advertising, commerce and studio teams.
“I’m thrilled Melinda is joining us and I’m excited to see her apply her deep experience building out brand portfolios to help us quickly grow our media brands group by emphasizing brands that serve audiences, instead of the other way around,” BuzzFeed Founder and CEO Jonah Peretti said in a statement. “The growth and monetization of BuzzFeed Media Brands is an integral part of our strategy to diversify BuzzFeed’s business to a multi-revenue model.”
Prior to joining Meredith in 2016, Lee served as vice president of content and audience development at Hearst Magazines International, overseeing video an and digital content for Cosmopolitan, Elle, Esquire and Harper’s Bazaar. She will now be responsible for growing BuzzFeed’s lifestyle portfolio, led by Tasty, which has become the No. 1 branded content partner on Facebook and has more than 6.2 million subscribers on YouTube. Tasty has since expanded into cookbooks and a Walmart cookware line.
“Whether it’s food, beauty, health and well-being or home, BuzzFeed has an unmatched talent for creating brands that facilitate human connection and draw people together,” Lee said. “Combined with their massive reach across social platforms – and even now in department stores across the country – there’s a huge opportunity for brands like Tasty, Goodful, Nifty, Playfull and As/Is to grow revenue and embrace emerging models. I’m so honored to join BuzzFeed in its next growth phase of the business.”