BuzzFeed bags deal to buy HuffPost from Verizon Media
BuzzFeed has announced to acquire HuffPost in a stock deal with Verizon Media. Verizon will get a noncontrolling stake in BuzzFeed in return. In addition to the all-stock deal, Verizon is investing cash in BuzzFeed. As a result of the deal, the two newsrooms will be able to syndicate each other's content and team up for advertising deals.
Jonah Peretti, the BuzzFeed founder and CEO and a cofounder of The Huffington Post, will be in charge of the expanded media giant.
Peretti said in the statement, "We're excited about our partnership with Verizon Media, and mutual benefits that will come from syndicating content across each other's properties, collaborating on innovative ad products and the future of commerce, and tapping into the strength and creativity of Verizon Media Immersive."I have vivid memories of growing HuffPost into a major news outlet in its early years, but BuzzFeed is making this acquisition because we believe in the future of HuffPost and the potential it has to continue to define the media landscape for years to come," Peretti said. "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 CEO Guru Gowrappan said in a release, "Verizon Media's strategy has evolved over the past two years to focus on our core strengths — ads, commerce, content and subscriptions. 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."
BuzzFeed will also help look for an editor in chief for HuffPost, which has been without one since Lydia Polgreen left for Gimlet Media in the spring. The deal comes in a tumultuous period for media and especially venture-capital-backed digital media companies.
What was supposed to be a year of stabilization and profitability for these companies changed when the coronavirus pandemic struck. Once high-flying companies like BuzzFeed, Vice Media, and Group Nine variously cut pay, laid off staffers, and rewrote expectations as advertisers slashed marketing budgets as much as 50%.
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