HuffPost has a new owner, and Verizon Media, its existing parent company, has reached an agreement to sell the site to BuzzFeed.
The news broke in the Wall Street Journal and described this as a stock sale. Verizon Media is now making an investment in the digital media business and becoming a minority shareholder in BuzzFeed.
The contract also entails an arrangement between the two firms to syndicate content while partnering on ads and forming a joint innovation group to explore other opportunities for monetization.
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As BuzzFeed’s press release states, since BuzzFeed creator and CEO Jonah Peretti was also one of the creators of what was initially known as The Huffington Post, this deal takes HuffPost full circle.
“In its early years, I have vivid memories of growing HuffPost into a major news source, but BuzzFeed is making this acquisition because we believe in HuffPost’s future and the potential it has for years to come to continue to define the media landscape,” Peretti said in a statement. “With the addition of HuffPost, our media network will have more users than all of our rivals, spending considerably more time on our news.”
About a decade ago, just a few months after it purchased TechCrunch, AOL acquired The Huffington Post for $315 million.
The merger was seen as a significant step into the field of news and digital media, but since then there have been a variety of organizational shifts, with AOL eventually purchased by Verizon, Verizon also acquired Yahoo and then first rebranded the merged company as Oath and then as Verizon Media (which still operates TechCrunch). In 2018, Tim Armstrong, the executive behind the acquisition, left the firm.
Over the years, there have been on-and-off reports of a HuffPost deal. Guru Gowrappan, CEO of Verizon Media, said last year that the firm was not selling HuffPost” because it was so central to our content.”
A new editor-in-chief at HuffPost is still looking for BuzzFeed. Since Lydia Polgreen departed in March, the place has been vacant.
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