Haik will be based at Vice’s Brooklyn headquarters and report to CEO Nancy Dubuc. She most recently worked at Mic, which last fall laid off virtually its entire staff before being acquired by Bustle Digital Group for a reported price tag of $5 million.
As Vice’s chief digital officer, Haik will focus on global audience growth and development, platform partnerships and digital product innovation. She is tasked with creating expanded partnerships and reach for the some-1,500 pieces of content Vice produces on a daily basis, in collaboration with the company’s editorial, video, distribution, product and audience teams.
“Having been on the front lines of digital for the last 20 years, Cory is the total package and a perfect fit for Vice as we build our executive team,” Dubuc said in announcing her hire.
Haik commented, “Digital media has come into its own, and the opportunity to help bring together Vice’s global offerings and develop strategy for how current and future audiences will consume its groundbreaking storytelling is a privilege. This is a business I love deeply, and Vice is a brand I am so proud to be a part of.”
Prior to Dubuc’s appointment a year ago, Vice Media had employed an executive with the “chief digital officer” title — Mike Germano, who was fired in January 2018 after an internal investigation into sexual harassment allegations against him.
Haik joins Vice Media as the company tries to turn the ship around with Dubuc at the helm. Earlier this year, it cut about 250 employees, or 10% of its staff, after missing revenue targets. Disney has written off $510 million of the value of its effective 21% stake in Vice Media — indicating Vice is worth much less than the $5.7 billion valuation it had two years ago — while Vice also this month raised $250 million in debt financing from a group of new investors including George Soros’ investment fund.
In its digital business unit, Vice this month relaunched vice.com, which merges all of its content under one umbrella and eliminates the separate web “channels” for topic verticals like Vice News, Noisey and Munchies — a move the company believes will boost its overall audience engagement.
Vice’s digital properties reach over 300 million people globally per month across multiple platforms, including 110 million in the U.S., according to the company’s estimates. At its NewFronts event for advertisers, Dom Delport, Vice’s president of international and chief revenue officer, said the company would exclude traffic from third-party affiliated sites from its overall comScore metrics as of May 15, a bid to build credibility with advertising clients.
Haik was most recently publisher of millennial-focused news company Mic, which she first joined in early 2016. Prior to that, she worked at the Washington Post, acquired in 2013 by Jeff Bezos, for five years, most recently as executive director of emerging news products.
Haik started her career at the Times-Picayune’s NOLA.com website, where she was managing editor. In 2006, she shared in two Pulitzer Prizes with The Times-Picayune for staff coverage of Hurricane Katrina, for breaking news and public service. She also served as assistant managing editor for the Seattle Times’ website, where she also shared in a staff Pulitzer in 2010 for the coverage of police officer shootings. She holds a masters of arts in communication theory degree from the University of New Orleans and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Nicholls State University.