Danielle Belton, who led The Root for the last five years, will take over the top job at HuffPost next month, filling a role that has sat empty for more than a year.
Ms. Belton’s appointment was announced Wednesday by Jonah Peretti, the chief executive of BuzzFeed, which acquired HuffPost in February.
“I realized that journalism was right for me when I was in J-school at college, and I realized that these are my people. I got the same feeling talking to HuffPost staff,” Ms. Belton said in an interview. “That these are people who are really passionate about getting people the information they need in order to make the best choices possible about their day-to-day lives. These are people who love informing the world.”
BuzzFeed began its search for a new top HuffPost editor after it announced the acquisition in November, according to an internal email Mr. Peretti sent the staff on Wednesday. In the email, which was obtained by The New York Times, Mr. Peretti said BuzzFeed had put a priority on finding a leader for HuffPost with a long-term vision who could “champion its urgent, compelling and far-reaching journalism.”
last March. HuffPost has since been led by the executive editor, Hillary Frey.
BuzzFeed announced in November that it was acquiring HuffPost from Verizon Media. On March 9, shortly after the deal was completed, BuzzFeed laid off 47 HuffPost employees and closed the publication’s Canadian edition. Mr. Peretti said at the time that the cost-cutting was required because HuffPost had lost more than $20 million in 2020 and projected it would lose the same amount this year.
The company was criticized for the way it handled the layoff announcement, which included requiring employees to use the password “spr!ngisH3r3,” a variation on “spring is here,” to enter the video meeting.
Ms. Belton now faces the task of uniting a reeling newsroom and charting a new course for the publication under BuzzFeed. She will report to Mark Schoofs, the editor in chief of BuzzFeed, though the two publications will have separate editorial teams and websites.
The Daily Beast.