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.
After 8 incredible years with @HuffPostCanada , I’m gutted to learn we’ve been shut down. But I’m also profoundly grateful for the colleagues who became dear friends and enriched my life more than they know. What we built together was special, it mattered, and I’ll miss it.
— Ryan Maloney (@ryemaloney) March 9, 2021
Some personal news pic.twitter.com/DUy7aBXPm6
— Rebecca Zamon (@RebZam) March 9, 2021
I’m losing my dream job with my dream team after 8.5 wonderful years at @HuffPostCanada. BuzzFeed is shutting us down. It’s a shitty situation, yes, but I’m also so thankful for the opportunity to learn, ask questions, and write stories.
— Zi-Ann Lum (@ziannlum) March 9, 2021
HuffPost Canada and Quebec are shutting down effective March 15. Myself and the fantastic, talented, valuable co-workers are now out of a job.
I’ve loved this newsroom, I’ve loved these people and I’m very very sad today. https://t.co/dam6ofFBBi
— Mel Woods 🌾🌈 (@intothemelwoods) March 9, 2021
I got laid off. I guess it’s a right of passage in this industry.
I can’t believe I have to say goodbye to such an amazing, supportive newsroom. I think we’re still in shock given how much our small team has achieved covering Canadian news.
Our last day is March 15. https://t.co/Hg8nQD0DVb
— Samantha Beattie (@Samantha_KB) March 9, 2021
Thank you to everyone who’s already reached out to check in and offer kind words.
I joined HuffPost Canada five years ago and I couldn’t imagine a more fun, supportive newsroom or better place to start my career. Shoutout to all my brilliant, clever, creative colleagues
— Emma Paling (@emmapaling) March 9, 2021
The last 3+ years have been a dream. I learned from the most brilliant, creative minds & I’m a more thoughtful journo because of it. Working in media teaches you how big the 🌎 is, and I’ve been so lucky to work in a newsroom that supported me in my quest to find my place in it.
— Alisha Sawhney 🌺 (@alishakapishaa) March 9, 2021
As I’m sure you’ve heard, @HuffPostCanada is shutting down. I’m really gutted but super proud of the work I did with some truly awesome people. Hire them. But uh, please also hire me! If you see any opportunities, please send them my way.
— sima ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (@simashakeri) March 9, 2021
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