BuzzFeed buys HuffPost from Verizon in newest new-media deal

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BuzzFeed is shopping for the HuffPost on-line information service from Verizon, marking the most recent shake-up for new-media publishers.

BuzzFeed and Verizon’s media arm additionally agreed to syndicate one another’s content material in a broader partnership, the businesses mentioned in a press release Thursday. As a part of the deal, Verizon is buying a minority stake in BuzzFeed, which is able to use the telecom large’s promoting platform to achieve extra clients. Particular phrases weren’t disclosed.

The deal is a reunion of types for BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti, who co-founded HuffPost.

“I’ve vivid recollections of rising HuffPost into a serious information outlet in its early years, however BuzzFeed is making this acquisition as a result of we imagine in the way forward for HuffPost and the potential it has to proceed to outline the media panorama for years to come back,” Peretti mentioned within the assertion.

The Wall Road Journal beforehand reported on the deal.

The 2 web sites will stay unbiased of one another, and BuzzFeed has begun a seek for a brand new editor-in-chief of HuffPost.

The digital-media business has more and more sought methods to achieve heft in an advert panorama dominated by Facebook and Google. Final 12 months, Vox Media purchased New York Media, the dad or mum of New York Journal, and Vice Media acquired the female-focused Refinery29.

BuzzFeed, well-known for its lighthearted quizzes and lists, has been making an attempt to diversify into new strains of enterprise, together with cookware, after relying closely on making specialised advertisements for manufacturers.

The corporate has clawed its method again to profitability this 12 months after the pandemic led to the cancellation of profitable advert offers, forcing a spherical of layoffs and pay cuts. Earlier this month, Peretti instructed employees that BuzzFeed was again on stable monetary footing and would restore funds to staff who took wage cuts in April.

The deal heralds yet one more proprietor for the left-leaning HuffPost, which was co-founded in 2005 by Arianna Huffington and have become a mannequin for attracting giant quantities of net visitors. AOL purchased Huffington Publish in 2011 for $315 million, then Verizon purchased AOL in 2015, turning the positioning right into a small piece of a telecom large. Huffington left in 2016 to show her consideration to her wellness startup. A 12 months later, the positioning shortened its identify to HuffPost, underscoring the cut up from its namesake character.

“HuffPost is likely one of the few digital content material manufacturers that’s universally recognized, with important scale, and a passionate, loyal viewers that’s totally different from ours,” Peretti mentioned in a memo to staff. “That’s why we are going to proceed to function HuffPost as its personal model and its personal digital vacation spot.”

Verizon, in the meantime, has been searching for methods to pare down a media enterprise that was beforehand led by Tim Armstrong. Beneath his plan, the corporate got down to flip a set of dot-com manufacturers — like AOL and Yahoo! — right into a thriving online-advertising enterprise, however the technique by no means took off. After altering the identify from Oath to Verizon Media Group and slicing employees, the service’s new CEO has centered totally on what the corporate does greatest: wi-fi service.

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