- BuzzFeed recently announced it is buying HuffPost from Verizon. These are the details about the deal.
BuzzFeed recently announced it is buying HuffPost from Verizon as part of a deal where Verizon will gain equity in the combined digital media company. The terms of the deal were undisclosed, but it is rumored that the deal was all-stock.
Going forward, Verizon will be a minority shareholder in BuzzFeed. And the two companies will also partner on ads and content.
Verizon gained ownership of HuffPost — the digital media company created by Arianna Huffington, Kenneth Lerer, Jonah Peretti, and Andrew Breitbart — through its acquisition of AOL for $4.4 billion in 2015. AOL had acquired HuffPost for $315 million in 2011. Verizon created a subsidiary through the merger of AOL and Yahoo (acquired by Verizon for $4.48 billion in 2017) called Oath. Verizon wrote down the combined value of its purchases of AOL and Yahoo! By about $4.6 billion in December 2018 and then renamed Oath to Verizon Media in January 2019. Within Verizon Media, AOL and Yahoo! retained their respective brand names.
Some of the brands that remain under Verizon Media now include AOL, Autoblog, BUILD, Built By Girls, Engadget, Flurry, MAKERS, Rivals, TechCrunch, and Yahoo! (including Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo! News, Yahoo! Sports, and Yahoo! Fantasy).
BuzzFeed was founded by Peretti in 2006. Since being founded, BuzzFeed had raised over $496 million in funding and the brand has become synonymous for its quizzes and “listicles.” But it has also heavily invested in breaking news.
“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,” said Peretti 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.”
Going forward, Verizon will continue syndicating HuffPost stories on its Yahoo! websites. And BuzzFeed will syndicate its content on Verizon’s media properties also. Verizon Media head Guru Gowrappan said that the company does not have any plans to sell any other properties.
HuffPost is not the only brand that Verizon sold after buying AOL and Yahoo! Verizon has also sold Flickr to SmugMug and Tumblr to WordPress parent company Automattic.
BuzzFeed is expected to be profitable this year and HuffPost is expected to be profitable by the end of next year. Peretti is going to run the combined company. And BuzzFeed is going to search for a new editor-in-chief for HuffPost.
Both of the newsrooms at BuzzFeed and HuffPost are represented by unions. HuffPost is represented by the Writers Guild of America, East and BuzzFeed is represented by the NewsGuild of New York.
The deal is expected to close in early 2021.