paper trail

Mic sold to Bustle Digital Group; Anna Burns on reading while walking

Anna Burns

The majority of Mic’s one hundred employees were laid off yesterday as the company prepared to sell to Bustle Digital Group, Recode reports. The website’s two founders, Chris Altchek and Jake Horowitz, are the only staff that remain at the company. The Wall Street Journal reports that the company was sold for $5 million, far below the company’s previous valuation of $100 million. Columbia Journalism Review’s Mathew Ingram writes that Mic’s decision to pivot to video and their focus on a partnership with Facebook likely played a large role in the website’s decline. “But no one forced Mic, or any other company suffering as a result of the same strategy, to shift so much of their spending to Facebook video, or to get their hopes up about a huge payoff,” he writes.

Erika Allen has been hiredas The Cut’s culture editor. Allen was most recently The Outline’s executive editor.

Man Booker winner and Milkman author Anna Burns tells the New York Times that the only connection she has to her novel’s protagonist is their shared penchant for reading while walking. “Complete strangers would say to me, ‘You’re that girl who walks and reads’ or ‘I saw you on the something road reading,’” Burns remembered of her youth in Ireland during The Troubles. The constant attention prompted Burns to write Milkman. “I thought ‘Why would they comment on it? Am I that noticeable?’”

LitHub’s Emily Temple rounds up translation advice from ten literary translators.

Actress Ellie Kemper, who recently published her essay collection My Squirrel Days, explains to the New York Times’s “By the Book” column how she accidentally tackled historian and biographer Doris Kearns Goodwin at a pre-Oscar party. Kearns had been nominated for her work on Lincoln, which was based on her book Team of Rivals. “I wasn’t a nominee, so I’m not sure why I was there.” As “an enormous fan” of Goodwin’s, Kemper walked over to introduce herself. “Without waiting for her to give any indication that she wanted a hug, I leaned in to give her a hug. But she had begun to turn by that point, and I lost my balance,” Kemper explained. “I mumbled any number of mortified ‘I’m sorrys’ and then—as one does—ran away.”