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Hearst Magazines Buys Clevver’s Pop-Culture YouTube Channels After Defy’s Demise

Hearst Magazines has snapped up Clevver, a network of female-skewing lifestyle and pop-culture news YouTube channels that had been owned by now-defunct Defy Media.

Clevver was left homeless after Defy’s sudden shutdown in November; its principals said at the time they were looking for a new home. Hearst Magazines sees a digital fit with Clevver’s brand, which includes ClevverTV, Clevver News, Clevver Style, and Spanish-language Clevver TeVe.

“Clevver’s content entertains and engages more than 15 million subscribers,” Hearst Magazines said in a statement. “This investment underscores our commitment to premium video that super-serves our audience of young women and will further accelerate our growth on YouTube and other digital video platforms.”

As first reported by Variety, comedy brand Smosh — also left high and dry after Defy’s shutdown — is in talks with Rhett & Link’s Mythical Entertainment about a sale. Meanwhile, prior to it shutting its doors, Defy Media had sold Screen Junkies to Fandom, which operates a community platform centered around entertainment.

It’s not clear whether all of Clevver’s previous talent will be moving over to Hearst Magazines under the deal. Right now, the publisher is said to be evaluating which Clevver hosts it plans to continue working with moving forward. (A Hearst rep declined to comment.) THR first reported Hearst’s deal to buy Clevver.

After the Defy shutdown, longtime Clevver producers/hosts Joslyn Davis and Erin Robinson — among the few Defy employees who weren’t laid off last fall — stepped away from creating content for the channels. Davis launched her own YouTube channel (which now has 250,000 subscribers) in November, and last month Robinson began posting videos to her own channel, “Erin’s Reality” (currently 125,000 subs).

Hearst Magazines, a unit of Hearst, claims its print and digital properties reach a combined audience of 146 million readers and visitors monthly. The company’s 27 U.S. titles include Cosmopolitan, Women’s Health, Esquire, Seventeen, Town & Country, Elle, Marie Claire, Car and Driver, and Woman’s Day.

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