Buzzfeed announced on Thursday that it has acquired HuffPost in a deal with Verizon Media Group, a media agency that owns Yahoo, TechCrunch, Endgadget, and previously, HuffPost. Verizon Media, a part of Verizon Communications, had previously acquired HuffPost in 2015 when it bought AOL which acquired HuffPost from its original owners in 2011.
According to the announcement, Verizon Media will hold a minority of the shares of BuzzFeed and the two companies have consented to content syndication which will allow them to republish contents from each other’s sites. The CEO of Buzzfeed, Jonah Peretti, was one of the four people who founded HuffPost in 2005. Then it was called the Huffington Post, after one of the co-founders, Arianna Huffington, and it became an instant success as a result of its speed in circulating news online.
“I can still remember clearly how excited we were when HuffPost was founded, and during the process of turning it into a successful news agency,” Peretti stated. “We didn’t acquire it because I have any form of connection with it but because we have seen the potential of HuffPost and we know it has a lot to offer the news industry just as it has been doing all these years.”
Peretti remains the CEO of the new company according to the announcement but the mode of operation of both Buzzfeed and HuffPost will remain the same as each will remain independent brands. The company also announced that efforts are being made to fill the vacant position of editor-in-chief at HuffPost. The position has been vacant since March when the previous editor-in-chief Lydia Polgreen joined Gimlet Media.
Editor-in-Chief at Buzzfeed, Mark Schoofs also emailed the members of the agency explaining that he will be the new editor-in-Chief’s direct boss. He explained that his contribution to HuffPost will be on major decisions about strategy and news divisions and added that all editorial decisions will remain in the hands of the new editor-in-chief, CNN reports.
The Digital media industry has seen a lot of acquisitions as the companies involved are trying to compete with giant tech companies such as Facebook and Google for high advertisement earnings. New York Media and Refinery29 have been affected by the latest trend in the industry.
There have been several unconfirmed reports that Verizon Media was offering HuffPost for sale but Guru Gowrappan, CEO of Verizon Media later denounced the reports saying that the company was not looking to sell HuffPost. Gowrappan confirmed the acquisition on Thursday stating that the partnership with Buzzfield is in line with the goals of HuffPost and Verizon Media as a whole.