Mic.com, a digital publisher with a millennial focus, is in talks to sell at least part of the company to Bustle, a publisher that has focused on millennial women. The sale talks come after Facebook canceled a video series with Mic that had provided an important source of revenue to the publisher.
Mic acknowledged in September that it had been discussing selling the company to a different — unnamed — buyer. The company had also been talking about raising more money.
The Facebook deal was part of a news video initiative championed by Campbell Brown, Facebook’s global head of news partnerships. Sources say it could have paid Mic around $5 million over the course of 12 months. Potential sales and funding rounds went away after Facebook didn’t renew, according to people familiar with Mic, leaving the publisher with limited options.
“They became very dependent on Facebook and they went all in on it, and they got burned,” said a person familiar with Mic’s strategy.
Mic employs more than 100 people and has raised more than $60 million. Right now, it looks like Bustle would consider bringing in half or less of the Mic staff. A Mic rep declined to comment; Facebook declined to comment; Bustle CEO Bryan Goldberg wasn’t reachable for comment.
Mic and Bustle share a common investor in AT&T’s Warner Media. This year, Goldberg acquired the Gawker.com website in a bankruptcy auction.