Media publisher BuzzFeed is set to acquire rival group HuffPost in a stock deal with Verizon Media, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal on Thursday.
The move will unite two major players in digital media. As the Journal reported, under the deal, the companies will syndicate content from each other and jointly seek advertising opportunities. The conglomerate will be run by BuzzFeed founder and chief executive Jonah Peretti, who cofounded the first iteration of HuffPost in 2005.
But according to a tweet from a BuzzFeed News staffer, “BuzzFeed and HuffPost will remain separate news organizations,” with HuffPost keeping its own website, social media channels, and app. HuffPost will also have its own editor-in-chief, who will report to BuzzFeed News editor-in-chief Mark Schoofs.
“I will weigh in on major strategy decisions, but I will not be involved in or focused on daily editorial decisions at HuffPost,” Schoofs said in an email cited by the staffer.
Verizon Media will get a minority stake in BuzzFeed as a result of the deal and will make a separate, undisclosed cash investment in BuzzFeed as well, according to the Journal.
The acquisition continues the trend of mass consolidation within media companies, as the industry has been cratered by falling profits and threatened with extinction as the digital age evolves. In recent years, media giant Hearst bought Rodale, publisher of Men’s Health; Variety owner Penske bought Wenner, publisher of Rolling Stone; and explainer-journalism website Vox bought New York Media, publisher of New York magazine.
According to the Journal, the BuzzFeed–HuffPost deal has been in the works for several months. In a statement, the companies said that they have similar audiences, and both stand to benefit from greater scale.