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Bustle Digital Sets Mic Relaunch Plans, Taps Complex Media Alum Shanté Cosme as Executive Editor

Bustle Digital Group, about six months after buying distressed digital-media company Mic, has set plans to relaunch the millennial news brand with the hire of former Complex Media editor Shanté Cosme as executive editor.

BDG bought Mic — which had raised $60 million in funding — for a reported $5 million, after Mic laid off nearly all of its editorial staff last November. Last month, Vice Media hired former Mic publisher Cory Haik as its chief digital officer.

Chris Altchek, Mic co-founder and former CEO, is now BDG’s executive VP, corporate development and is helping with the Mic relaunch. Jake Horowitz, Mic’s co-founder and editor-at-large (and the only previous editorial employee who wasn’t let go), also remains on staff at BDG.

Since joining Mic, Cosme has made several hires, including politics reporter Opheli Garcia Lawler from The Cut; innovation editor Hanna Howard, who hails from Teen Vogue; and senior well-being editor Rajul Punjabi, formerly with Vice.

The company said Mic will continue to pursue its original editorial agenda of producing stories on politics, culture, social justice and social media and how they affect people’s lives. BDG also said it will “invest in illuminating the issues that matter to young readers,” via its editorial initiatives platform, Mic Causes. The brand will kick off the program with a Presidential Speaker Series about the 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls.

On the business side, Mic’s Brand Newsroom team has been integrated across BDG. “We transform brands into engaging publishers by creating a newsroom that is guided by narratives and beats that are woven into a rolling editorial calendar that mirrors the business’s core values and beliefs,” Jason Wagenheim, BDG’s chief revenue officer, said in a statement.

Cosme worked at Complex, now owned in a joint venture by Verizon and Hearst, for more than six years. Most recently, she was executive editor of Complex Media, where she focused on developing the brand’s digital strategy and building a dynamic newsroom, before leaving the company last summer.

Bustle Digital Group, which has raised $50.5 million in funding to date, has been swooping up troubled digital-media players in the last two years. In addition to Mic, BDG last year bought Flavorpill, a digital culture publisher and events producer; Rachel Zoe’s fashion and lifestyle brand Zoe Report; and the remaining assets of Gawker Media in July in an bankruptcy auction. In April 2017, Bustle bought Elite Daily, a millennial-skewing news publisher, from the U.K’s Daily Mail; Elite Daily has since been repositioned to target a young female audience.

BDG is headed by founder and CEO Bryan Goldberg. Prior to starting Bustle in 2013, Goldberg co-founded sports publisher Bleacher Report, which is now owned by Turner.

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