Style Site Refinery29 is Building a Breaking News Division

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Refinery29 wants to break some news and, maybe, interview the president.

The style and beauty site is looking to hire an experienced journalist to "shape the site's move into up-to-the-minute coverage of breaking news across all R29 categories" including hard news, according to the site's Careers page.

Our News Director must be someone who has the journalistic experience and storytelling prowess to break news across all existing and emerging social platforms and shape our stories for millennial women both nationally and around the globe.

This next-generation thought leader will build and create our news operation from the ground up and will lead our national and world events coverage as it happens.

...

The breaking news team will have both independence and resources to shape R29 breaking news coverage into never-seen-before programming that's dynamic, authoritative, and ground-breaking.

A Refinery29 spokeswoman offered further details on the position, saying in an email:

The news director role will oversee "news writers" in each category (for example, food, beauty, fashion, politics, technology) keeping the content streamlined, smartly reported and relevant to the daily news cycle and to our audience's lives.

The hiring of a news director extends Refinery29's ongoing expansion beyond its initial remit of writing obsessively about fashion and beauty. The site's coverage has grown to include wellness, tech and entertainment. And it's certainly paying off in traffic, which has grown enormously this year. Refinery29 attracted 23.3 million unique U.S. visitors on desktop and mobile devices in February, a 151% increase over the previous year, according to ComScore.

On Thursday, the site announced several hires and promotions to cover politics and culture.

"We plan to press officials and candidates on the issues that matter to millennial women -- jobs, pregnancy discrimination, civil rights, health care, and the economy -- and ensure our readers' specific situations, concerns, and challenges are being addressed," Christene Barberich, the site's editor in chief, said in a statement..

Does that mean Refinery29 is angling for an interview with President Obama and his potential successors (like Hillary Clinton or Rand Paul)? After all, its digital-media peers BuzzFeed and Vox.com, as well as Vice, all interviewed the president this year.

A spokeswoman for Refinery29 was vague. "Yes, they plan on covering the administration and the campaign thoroughly," she said, "though can't comment on specific interviews."

The editorial overhaul comes as Refinery29 -- which generated about $55 to $60 million in revenue last year and had "meaningful profits," according to its co-CEO -- appears to be flush with cash as it looks to continue growing. The site has raised $30 million from investors so far and, according to Fortune magazine, is reportedly close to raising another $50 million.

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