Under the deal Verizon will acquire a minority equity stake in BuzzFeed, with the digital publisher and telecom giant partnering on advertising and content.
Two titans of the digital publishing space will soon merge, as BuzzFeed is acquiring HuffPost as part of a larger deal with Verizon Media.
The deal has multiple pieces, with Verizon acquiring a minority equity stake in BuzzFeed, and the digital publisher and telecom giant partnering on advertising and content. HuffPost will join BuzzFeed, BuzzFeed News and Tasty in the publisher’s stable of digital media brands.
BuzzFeed and Verizon will also syndicate each other’s content, explore augmented reality storytelling opportunities, and launch an “innovation group” to explore monetization opportunities. BuzzFeed will also utilize Verizon Media’s ad platform. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The newsrooms of HuffPost and BuzzFeed News will remain separate, though HuffPost’s editor-in-chief (currently an open role) will report to BuzzFeed News editor-in-chief Mark Schoof’s according to an email Schoofs sent to BuzzFeed staff.
“Our business strategy is to make sure that the two newsrooms maintain their own identities to preserve the big and loyal audiences that each has built up,” Schoofs wrote in the email. “So while we have another powerful journalism brand in the house, BuzzFeed News will stay true to its mission, individuality, and editorial independence.”
BuzzFeed founder and CEO Jonah Peretti was previously a co-founder of HuffPost.
“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 in a statement. “With the addition of HuffPost, our media network will have more users, spending significantly more time with our content than any of our peers.”
“We plan to learn as much as possible in the coming weeks so we can make the best decisions about the path forward, in the US and around the world,” Peretti added in a memo to staff. “We are native digital publishers who value and understand HuffPost’s journalism and business potential. We put a lot of work – and made painful decisions – to manage our costs and diversify our revenue, and we will apply all that we’ve learned to HuffPost.”
HuffPost, then known as The Huffington Post after is co-founder Arianna Huffington, sold to AOL for $315 million in 2011. Verizon acquired HuffPost when it bought AOL in 2015 for $4.4 billion.