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Massive Media Layoffs Begin As Verizon Juggles HuffPost, AOL, Yahoo

Massive Media Layoffs Begin As Verizon Juggles HuffPost, AOL, Yahoo

Immediately after completing its acquisition of Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO), Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) began trimming its expanding media portfolio. The Huffington Post, operated by Verizon subsidiary AOL, laid off 39 employees Tuesday, including the publication’s lone Pulitzer Prize winner.

Media Layoffs

The layoffs make way for Verizon’s new digital unit, Oath, a union of Yahoo and AOL assets, and are expected to be the first of about 2,100, according to a HuffPost report.

Oath declined to comment on plans for consolidation or the operational and budgetary impact of the Yahoo acquisition on existing media brands, such as AOL News.

"It's day two ━ and we just don't have all the answers yet,” a spokesperson told Benzinga, suggesting a timeline of “a couple weeks [or] months.”

Market speculation suggests continued disturbance to Verizon’s editorial teams. In April, the New York Post reported rumors of Verizon’s interest in Time Inc (NYSE: TIME), the publisher of Sports Illustrated, Time, People and InStyle. Time cut 300 employees across its brands Monday.

Meanwhile, HuffPost is undergoing continued transformation following the loss of co-founder Arianna Huffington and rise of editor-in-chief Lydia Polgreen. Polgreen has already overseen a website rebranding as she effects a new vision for the digital publication.

And now she presses on with a shrinking staff, including six fewer journalists in its Washington bureau. The firm’s recently released members will receive a severance package including continued health benefits, two months’ salary and a week of pay for each year of tenure, according to a statement from the publication’s union, Writers Guild of America.

Related Link: Verizon Deal Delay: What Does It Mean For Yahoo, Alibaba Investors?


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