Per Benjamin Mullin at the Wall Street Journal:
Digital publisher Mic Network Inc. has agreed to sell itself to women-focused publisher Bustle Digital Group for about $5 million, according to a person familiar with the matter—a fraction of Mic’s valuation less than two years ago.
Mic laid off almost all of its employees ahead of the sale, another person familiar with the matter said. Mic co-founder Chris Altchek informed employees of the layoffs during an all-hands meeting Thursday, the person said.
Bustle plans to reinvest in rebuilding Mic’s editorial staff in 2019, according to a third person familiar with the matter.
Mullin goes on to say Bustle is buying Mic to build up their coverage of the upcoming 2020 Presidential elections.
Again, though, this sale is essentially only for the name and platform: every single editorial staff member (minus co-founder and former EIC Jake Horowitz) is gone. What’s left is a brand that often was criticized as inauthentic and a number of executives that literally were being inauthentic in trying to cultivate a social justice minded audience.
This does not seem like a great brand to relaunch under an entirely different staff. Then again, neither does Gawker, another recent Bustle purchase, and inauthenticity is somewhat core to the company’s DNA.