Verizon has been quietly scrambling to unload HuffPost as it grapples with continued losses at the left-leaning news and culture website, The Post has learned.
The telecom giant — which acquired the site formerly known as the Huffington Post as part of its $4.4 billion purchase of AOL in 2015 — has approached multiple digital-media companies during the past few months in a bid to get the property off its books as losses accelerate due to the coronavirus, according to sources close to the situation.
has pitched the property to prospective buyers including Thrillist-owner Group Nine Media, Rolling Stone publisher Penske Media Corp., Bustle Digital Media and J2 Global, insiders said. Those media outlets declined to comment.
Vox Media, which owns New York Magazine and operates news and political site Vox as well as tech news sites Recode and The Verge, is among the media outlets to have held talks to acquire HuffPost. Some sources have described those talks as “serious,” but sources close to Vox, while acknowledging they have taken a look, say they are not interested in buying the property.
Even Group Nine — whose CEO is Ben Lerer, the son of Huffington Post co-founder Ken Lerer — took a pass, according to a source close to the situation.
“This thing loses so much money,” a digital media executive with knowledge of the financials said. “It’s such a mess, I wouldn’t touch it with a 10-foot pole. I don’t think there’s any way you can make money.”
People briefed on the talks said Verizon, headed by CEO Hans Vestberg, appears to be seeking to offload HuffPost to a buyer willing to take a knife