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Bryan Goldberg has become the buyer of choice for distressed media assets. Goldberg, a native of the Valley, cofounded sports media company the Bleacher Report in 2007. After five and a half years, the company was acquired by Turner Broadcasting for a reported $200M. In 2013, completely switching gears, Goldberg launched Bustle, a site initially focused on the culture of millennial women. Goldberg will be the first to admit that he doesn't know much about women's interest but he does understand market, audiences, high-traffic, and contained content production costs.
Bustle has managed to steadily increase its traffic and revenue in an era where most publishers are struggling. It hasn't all happened organically. Goldberg has acquired a number of properties to digital properties to build what has become the Bustle Digital Group by acquiring assets in fire sales when the previous owners could not run the businesses effectively. Elite Daily, Mic, and Zoe Report are three recent examples. The startup has picked up slightly over $50M in funding and is backed by investors that include Time Warner Investments, Social Capital, General Catalyst, and GGV Capital.
Goldberg's unconventional style is working. According to the company, the media group's combined audience exceeds 80M per month and according to the Inc 5000, Bustle did $46.3M in revenue in 2017. Although never one to be in a bidding war, Goldberg is willing to open up his checkbox when he senses opportunities to salvage struggling media businesses. He purchased Gawker.com in bankruptcy for $1.35M and plans to relaunch it later this year. As consolidation in the media business continues, Goldberg has a front row seat.