BuzzFeed down-sizing HuffPost before going public

BuzzFeed down-sizing HuffPost before going public

BuzzFeed is in talks to go public through a merger with 890 5th Avenue Partners Inc, a special purpose acquisition company, Bloomberg News reports citing people with knowledge of the matter.

BuzzFeed bought news website HuffPost from Verizon Communications Inc in November and recently announced cost-cuttings at HuffPost by closing its edition in Canada and laying off a third of the US staff. A spokesman for BuzzFeed said that the size of the operations in Britain and Australia will also be decreased.

BuzzFeed CEO, Jonah Peretti, said the actions are taken to stop losses at HuffPost that are reported to be around USD 20 million in 2020 and forecasted to be around the same for 2021.

Peretti told HuffPost staff that while BuzzFeed remains profitable, “we don’t have the resources to support another two years of losses”.

He announced that HuffPost’s executive editor, Hillary Frey, and international executive editor, Louise Roug, have decided to leave the company.

HuffPost has been looking for an editor-in-chief since Lydia Polgreen left the site a year ago for podcast company Gimlet Media. Peretti said a successor would be announced in coming weeks. The HuffPost editor-in-chief will report to BuzzFeed News´ editor-in-chief but the sites will remain distinct from each other.

HuffPost was earlier owned by Verizon Media. It was founded in 2005 by Arianna Huffington and she sold it to AOL for USD 315 million in 2011. Verizon became the owner when the company in 2015 bought AOL. Peretti was chief technology officer at Huffington Post before he started BuzzFeed.



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