BuzzFeed will acquire HuffPost from Verizon Media, the two companies said today in a joint statement. BuzzFeed CEO and founder Jonah Peretti, who also co-founded HuffPost—then known as Huffington Post—in 2005, will lead the venture.
The acquisition is part of a broader agreement between the two companies that includes technology sharing, cross-platform content promotion and a cash investment from Verizon Media into BuzzFeed, according to The Wall Street Journal. Verizon Media will continue to manage ad sales for HuffPost, and the companies plan to jointly pursue advertising opportunities.
In today’s statement, the two entities said that their complementary audiences will help expand BuzzFeed’s reach across demographics.
“Verizon Media’s strategy has evolved over the past two years to focus on our core strengths—ads, commerce, content and subscriptions,” said Verizon Media CEO Guru Gowrappan in a statement. The company’s ecosystem delivers an “end-to-end experience for consumers and advertisers,” he said, adding that the partnership with BuzzFeed will complement Verizon Media’s roadmap.
Citing “mutual benefits” from content syndication, collaboration on ad products and access to Verizon Media Immersive, Peretti said in a statement that adding HuffPost to BuzzFeed’s portfolio will give the media network “more users, spending significantly more time with our content than any of our peers.”
Despite the content syndication deal, the BuzzFeed News and HuffPost newsrooms will remain editorially independent—operating as “separate, distinct news organizations,” the statement said.
BuzzFeed will now take on the search for a HuffPost editor-in-chief, which the publication has been operating without since former top editor Lydia Polgreen stepped down in March. The new position will report directly to BuzzFeed News editor-in-chief Mark Schoofs, according to a letter sent to newsroom staff today.
The deal is the latest in a trend toward digital media consolidation over the last couple years as publishers attempt to recover ad revenue lost to Facebook and Google. Last year, those mergers included Vox Media and New York Media, Vice Media Group and Refinery29 and Group Nine’s acquisition of PopSugar.