View Source

Danielle Belton Named Top Editor of HuffPost

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.

View Source

BuzzFeed lays off 47 HuffPost workers weeks after acquisition.

When BuzzFeed announced last year that it would buy HuffPost, it was expected that cost-cutting would follow the completion of the deal. On Tuesday, less than a month after the acquisition went through, BuzzFeed laid off 47 workers at HuffPost and closed the publication’s Canadian edition.

At a virtual company meeting, BuzzFeed’s chief executive, Jonah Peretti, said the layoffs were meant to stem losses at HuffPost. HuffPost, which was previously owned by Verizon Media, lost more than $20 million last year and was on track to lose the same amount this year, Mr. Peretti told the staff according to an account of the meeting provided by BuzzFeed.

Employees were given a password to enter the meeting — “spr!ngisH3r3,” a variation on the phrase “spring is here.” The staff members were then informed that if they did not receive an email by 1 p.m., their jobs were safe. The website Defector first reported on the password and other details of the meeting, which were confirmed by two people who attended the meeting and spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal discussions. A BuzzFeed spokesman told The New York Times that the company regretted the password’s tone.

The HuffPost Union, which is affiliated with the Writers Guild of America East, said in a statement that the layoffs had affected 33 of its members, nearly a third of the local union. “We are devastated and infuriated, particularly after an exhausting year of covering a pandemic and working from home,” the union said in a statement.

Lydia Polgreen departed a year ago to become the head of content at Gimlet Media, a Spotify-owned podcasting company. Mr. Peretti said he expected to announce Ms. Polgreen’s successor in the coming weeks.

Whoever takes the job will report to Mark Schoofs, BuzzFeed News’s editor in chief. At the meeting, Mr. Peretti reiterated that BuzzFeed and HuffPost would remain distinct from each other, with separate editorial staffs.

View Source