After reaching an agreement, BuzzFeed and HuffPost have decided to join forces, as large players in digital media, to collaborate in a multi-year partnership on November 20. As part of a larger stock deal, BuzzFeed agreed to acquire HuffPost from their owner Verizon Media.
Under the deal, BuzzFeed and HuffPost’s partnership centers around advertisements and syndicating content between the two companies. Yahoo and TechCrunch, which are under Verizon Media also agreed to the terms for content syndication.
Cofounder for HuffPost and BuzzFeed CEO, Jonah Peretti will keep his role as CEO and run the joint company. However, HuffPost will operate separately with its own editorial staff. Currently, the HuffPost editor spot is vacant and BuzzFeed is searching for a replacement after Lydia Polgreen left the position in March.
“I still vividly remember the night we launched HuffPost and the excitement of growing it into a major news outlet during those early years. But we aren’t buying HuffPost because of its illustrious past or my personal connection; we pursued this opportunity because we are excited about the future of HuffPost and all the potential it has to continue to define the media landscape for years to come,” Peretti wrote.
Obtaining HuffPost in 2015, Verizon Media would become a minority shareholder of BuzzFeed. Combatting the confusion, Verizon Media CEO Guru Gowrappan addressed that Verizon was not selling HuffPost because it was “so core to our content.”
“Verizon Media’s strategy has evolved over the past two years to focus on our core strengths-ads, commerce, content, and subscriptions,” Gowrappan said in a statement Thursday about the deal. “We’ve created a powerhouse ecosystem, built on a trusted network, that delivers an end-to-end experience for consumers and advertisers. The partnership with BuzzFeed complements our roadmap while also accelerating our transformation and growth.”
During the Pandemic, HuffPost has undergone a series of cost-cutting measures such as layoffs due to declining advertising revenue. However, Peretti expects a turnaround.
“Though COVID made 2020 more challenging, we’re emerging from the pandemic in a position of strength — profitable, diversified, and more relevant than ever,” he said in the memo to staffers.