Huffington Post was founded by nationally syndicated columnist Arianna Huffington in 2005. Andrew Breitbart, the founder of Breitbart, was part of her original team. Jonah Peretti, who now runs Buzzfeed, was part of her team as well.
Arianna Huffington was a center-right author and nationally syndicated columnist in the 1990s. She was married to former Republican US Congressman Michael Huffington. They got divorced in 1997 after eleven years, and Michael became a homosexual activist and leader of the Log Cabin Republicans.
The Huffington Post is famous for what was called “search engine driven journalism.” The site specialized in using creative headlines that would increase the odds of the article appearing at the top of search engines. Of course, today, this is more widely referred to negatively as “clickbait.”
In 2011, AOL purchased Huffington Post for $315 million. Arianna Huffington was made Editor-In-Chief of nearly a dozen media properties owned by AOL. At this time, Arianna Huffington was still billing the website as a non-ideologically motivated, balanced media outlet. However, a rapid move to the left was clearly underway at the time.
In 2015, Verizon purchased AOL, and Huffington Post became a property of Verizon Media. Arianna Huffington soon resigned and was replaced by Lydia Polgreen, an editorial director for the New York Times. Verizon Media was celebrated by the left for placing a Lesbian in charge of the site. Polgreen continued to rapidly move to the site’s editorial bias towards the far-left. In 2016, the Huffington Post adopted an official stated editorial policy that “Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist, and birther.”
However, the site was rumored to be piling up debts. There were also major controversies over the amount of content on the site coming from volunteer unpaid bloggers. In 2018, things were coming to a head. Verizon laid off 20 full-time Huffington Post staff members in January of 2019.
In November of 2020, Verizon Media sold Huffington Post to Buzzfeed. Verizon, the parent company of Verizon Media, reported a $115 million loss for Q4 2020. They explained that this loss was “primarily related to the disposition of the HuffPost business.” In other words, Verizon dumped the Huffington Post at a huge financial loss. The company said that ditching Huffington Post was a tactical decision.
Buzzfeed got the Huffington Post from Verizon in exchange for Buzzfeed stock. Verizon also agreed to invest money in Buzzfeed and allow syndicated content and advertising across Buzzfeed and Verizon Media platforms. Buzzfeed head Jonah Peretti has now disclosed that the site lost $20 million in 2020.
In late February, over twenty Huffting Post employees filed with the Communications Workers of America & Canada [CWA] to form a union. Huffington Post has offices in Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, and Montreal. Six Canadian employees from the Toronto office already joined the CWA in March 2019.
Yesterday, Huffington Post sent Canadian workers an e-mail instructing them to join a Zoom conference with the password “spring is here.” Peretti informed them that they were being laid off. The mass layoff occurred exactly two weeks from the date that they filed to unionize.
Contract employees, who get paid for occasional content in Canada, were not even invited to the Zoom conference and learned that they would no longer be able to sell content to Huffington Post second-hand.
A total of 47 full-time US and Canadian employees are being laid off. This includes eight managers.
Included in the layoffs is the notorious Senior Reporter Luke O’Brien. He almost exclusively writes nasty hit pieces on conservatives and hypes wild far-left conspiracies. Several prominent members of the far-left, including high-profile Antifa, are lamenting his layoff on social media.