BuzzFeed shutters HuffPost Canada

HuffPost Canada is being shuttered as part of layoffs announced by BuzzFeed on Tuesday, just weeks after acquiring the HuffPost brand from Verizon Media.

The abrupt announcement comes following HuffPost Canada staff unionizing in late February. The cuts will affect all 23 Canadian employees across HuffPost Canada and HuffPost Quebec, while 47 staff have been laid off across the company’s American operations.

Members of CWA Canada, the HuffPost Canada Union tweeted that it’s been told the layoffs are not related to the move to unionize.

“We have been told this decision was made before our organizing effort and is not linked to our unionizing. Still, it is even more devastating in the wake of the hope and optimism we had following a strong union drive,” the union tweeted. “HuffPost Canada consistently punched above our weight and did vital, important journalism in Canada. We stand in solidarity with our colleagues in the U.S. and the U.K. who are experiencing layoffs of their own. It is a sad day for journalism.”

The HuffPost Canada and HuffPost Quebec websites were taken offline shortly after the layoff announcement, with a statement on the landing pages indicating existing content will be maintained as an online archive, with certain site features to be permanently disabled as of March 12.

The BuzzFeed Canada Union responded with a statement of its own, swiftly condemning the move.

“We also strongly condemn the decision to take these websites’ homepages offline barely an hour after employees were told of their impending closure, and without warning,” reads the statement. ”

“In its nearly ten years of operation, HuffPost Canada has been an award-winning and integral part of how Canadians get their news. We cannot overstate the loss of an entire publication from this country’s media ecosystem,” it continued.

HuffPost, which was co-founded in 2005 by Ariana Huffington, Jonah Peretti, Andrew Breitbart and Kenneth Lerer, launched its Canadian edition – its first incarnation outside the U.S. – in 2011. The launch of HuffPost Quebec followed a year later.

The restructuring includes Hillary Frey, HuffPost’s Executive Editor for the past three and a half years, and Louise Roug, who had served as Executive Editor, International, since 2017.

Andrew Yates had been in the role of Acting Editor-in-Chief for HuffPost Canada since last July, when Andree Lau departed the position to join CBC as Managing Editor, Digital News. Among the publication’s long-serving contributors are Althia Raj, who has been with HuffPost Canada nearly a decade, most recently as Ottawa Bureau Chief and Senior Editorial Manager; Ottawa-based federal politics reporter Zi-Ann Lum; Ryan Maloney, Senior Editor, Politics; and Rebecca Zamon, Audience Development Manager and former Lifestyle Editor, who had been with HuffPost since 2011.


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