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Bryan Goldberg and Rachel Zoe. Photo: Bustle

Bustle Digital Group will announce today that it is acquiring The Zoe Report from Rachel Zoe, Inc., a popular fashion and lifesytle brand for young women. Terms of the deal, effective April 1, are not disclosed. The deal is a combination of cash and stock. Upon close, Rachel Zoe will become a significant shareholder of Bustle Digital Group.

Why it matters: The Zoe Report is joining Bustle, Romper and Elite Daily as the fourth major brand in the Bustle Digital Group. The acquisition comes as more digital media holding companies looks to acquire and scale to gain better leverage with digital distributors, like Google and Twitter.

Goldberg describes Bustle's strategy as becoming "the digital native Conde Nast."

"We are planning many more acquisitions in the years to come ... There are other Fashion properties we admire — perhaps with different perspectives or target readers."
— Bryan Goldberg, Bustle Digital Group CEO.
  • He says Bustle will take a deeper look at soft-news categories categories like travel, wellness, home decor, and food. "But we will also double-down on fashion, beauty, parenting, and other verticals where we have existing strength."
  • Most recently, Bustle Digital Group acquired Elite Daily from Daily Mail in 2017.

What's in it for Bustle? By acquiring The Zoe Report, Bustle Digital Group will significantly expand its reach into the fashion, beauty, and luxury verticals. Bustle will also have access to The Zoe Report’s 2 million+ email subscribers and sizable social audience. It acquires roughly 20 people from The Zoe Report.

  • "The Zoe Report is a great example of what the company intends to do," Goldberg tells Axios. "It is a property with significant revenue, because of its authority in a specific category. Our scale and infrastructure allows us to grow that revenue, while limiting the impact on marginal operating costs."

What's in it for Zoe? It's been a difficult few years for fashion and luxury media brands, as they continue to compete with social-first digital upstarts, like Glossier and The Spring. The sale gives The Zoe Report access to a wider set of resources, like audience data and sales infrastructure, that it can use to better manage market volatility.

  • "Over the coming months, we will plug The Zoe Report into our technology stack, and we will provide clients with access to our incredible branded marketing and sales support teams. We will offer audience extension to clients who require scale in addition to fashion authority."

The Zoe Report will continue under its own masthead with founder Rachel Zoe remaining in an active role as Founder and Editor-at-Large.

Go deeper

DOJ watchdog to probe whether officials sought to alter election results

Donald and Melania Trump exit Air Force One in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Jan. 20. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

The Justice Department's inspector general will investigate whether any current or former DOJ officials "engaged in an improper attempt to have DOJ seek to alter the outcome" of the 2020 election, the agency announced Monday.

Driving the news: The investigation comes in the wake of a New York Times report that alleged Jeffrey Clark, the head of DOJ's civil division, had plotted with President Trump to oust acting Attorney General Jeffery Rosen in a scheme to overturn the election results in Georgia.

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Axios Re:Cap goes deeper into what Google is doing, and why now, with Dr. Karen DeSalvo, Google's chief health officer who previously worked at HHS and as health commissioner for New Orleans.

Biden signs order overturning Trump's transgender military ban

Photo: Tom Brenner/Getty Images

President Biden signed an executive order on Monday overturning the Trump administration's ban on transgender Americans serving in the military.

Why it matters: The ban, which allowed the military to bar openly transgender recruits and discharge people for not living as their sex assigned at birth, affected up to 15,000 service members, according to tallies from the National Center for Transgender Equality and Transgender American Veterans Association.