Verizon sells HuffPost to BuzzFeed

Marco Green
November 20, 2020

BuzzFeed Inc. will buy the HuffPost online news service from Verizon Communications Inc., marking the latest shake-up for new-media publishers. BuzzFeed CEO and founder Jonah Peretti, who also co-founded HuffPost-then known as Huffington Post-in 2005, will lead the venture.

According to the Journal, the BuzzFeed-HuffPost deal has been in the works for several months.

Peretti told BuzzFeed in an interview the deal was attractive because of "the brand and the audience" of HuffPost. Lydia Polgreen left the position in March.

The acquisition continues the trend of mass consolidation within media companies, as the industry has been cratered by falling profits amid a tricky shift into the digital age.

"With the addition of HuffPost, our media network will have more users, spending significantly more time with our content than any of our peers".

"Verizon Media's strategy has evolved over the past two years to focus on our core strengths-ads, commerce, content and subscriptions", said Verizon Media CEO Guru Gowrappan in a statement.

It also makes Verizon a minority shareholder in BuzzFeed, with the two firms agreeing to a strategic partnership for content and advertising. The companies will syndicate content across each other's platforms, explore monetization opportunities and leverage ad formats, the companies said in a statement.

BuzzFeed said Thursday it was acquiring HuffPost in a deal uniting two digital media pioneers seeking fresh momentum in a troubled sector.

"We are deeply invested in the continued success of HuffPost, and I couldn't think of a better partner to take HuffPost to the next level", he added.

Verizon has struggled to grow its media properties, declaring them almost worthless with a $4.6 billion write-down in 2018. Its content will be amplified via Yahoo channels and products, which are owned by Verizon Media.

Additional terms of the deal were not disclosed. And it's been almost a decade since what was then AOL acquired HuffPost for $315 million.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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