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Aria Hughes Named Top Editor at Complex

Noah Callahan-Bever will return to the platform as chief of content.

Aria Hughes Named Top Editor at Complex

Aria Hughes and Noah Callahan-Bever have been named editor in chief and chief of content for Complex.

Aria Hughes has been named editor in chief of Complex and Noah Callahan-Bever will return to the platform as chief of content, overseeing the newsroom and content strategy, the company announced Tuesday.

The new leadership structure comes as Complex has acquired Callahan-Bever’s Idea Generation media company. He will continue to lead Idea Generation along with the company’s co-chief executive officer Tricia Clarke Stone.

Hughes joined Complex in 2019 as deputy style editor. Callahan-Bever is a veteran of Complex; he previously served as deputy editor, editor in chief and then chief content officer from 2005 to 2017. During his initial tenure, he transitioned the brand from a bimonthly print magazine to a video-centric platform with Sneaker Shopping, Hot Ones and Everyday Struggle. 

“Idea Generation has always been about inspiring, empowering and educating the next generation of creative entrepreneurs, and the fact that it’s now a part of Complex will allow us to reach a much larger audience with a broader, more ambitious slate of content,” Callahan-Bever said in a statement.

Added Hughes: “As larger institutions tap into streetwear, sneakers and hip-hop — spaces Complex has always covered — I look forward to working with Noah and the team to evolve our editorial vision. I want to ensure we are telling important stories in an authentic and engaging way that resonates with our growing audience.”

Complex was founded in 2002 by fashion designer Marc Ecko as a pop culture publication focusing on sneaker culture, streetwear and the hip-hop scene. Several years later, the company launched its video offering, Complex Media Network, spawning music-focused sites including Pigeons & Planes, HipHopDX and 2DopeBoyz.

Complex discontinued its bimonthly print magazine in 2016 after 14 years. The same year, the brand started ComplexCon as a two-day festival in Los Angeles. Hearst Corp. invested more than $20 million in 2015. Hearst and Verizon acquiring the company the following year in a venture valued at between $250 million to $300 million.

In 2021, BuzzFeed picked up Complex for just under $300 million, according to reports. BuzzFeed, which has seen its fortunes and purview shrink considerably in recent years, sold complex in February to livestream shopping platform Ntwrk in an all-cash deal for just over $100 million.