BuzzFeed Buys HuffPost From Verizon Media

BuzzFeed is acquiring HuffPost, the 15-year-old internet news outlet, in a stock deal with Verizon Media, the companies announced.

The HuffPost purchase is part of a larger strategic partnership across content and advertising between BuzzFeed and Verizon, under which Verizon Media will take a minority investment stake in BuzzFeed.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Verizon Media had been reportedly trying to offload HuffPost for more than a year. The companies didn’t say whether there would be layoffs at HuffPost with the transaction, which is subject to usual closing conditions.

BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti — who co-founded Huffington Post with Arriana Huffinton in 2005 along with investor Ken Lerer — will lead the combined BuzzFeed/HuffPost group. BuzzFeed will commence a search for a new editor-in-chief of HuffPost, after the exit of EIC Lydia Polgreen earlier this year to join Spotify’s Gimlet Media.

“Verizon Media’s strategy has evolved over the past two years to focus on our core strengths — ads, commerce, content and subscriptions,” said Guru Gowrappan, CEO, Verizon Media, in announcing the pact. “The partnership with BuzzFeed complements our road map while also accelerating our transformation and growth.”

Peretti added in a 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.”

As part of the agreement, Verizon Media and BuzzFeed will syndicate content across each of their respective platforms. In addition, the companies will create a joint “innovation group” to “explore monetization opportunities” and leverage emerging ad formats, including extended reality (XR) and AR applications.

BuzzFeed also will be able to tap into Verizon Media Immersive, which the telco touts as “the largest online XR platform for advertising and content.” Additionally, BuzzFeed will have access to Verizon Media’s ad platform that spans mobile, desktop, video, connected TV and other channels.

HuffPost’s namesake, Arianna Huffington, left the company in 2016 to form wellness startup Thrive Global.

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