Independent in talks to take over BuzzFeed and HuffPost in UK

The Independent is speaking to the owners of BuzzFeed and HuffPost in the UK to potentially take over the two online news brands.

Any deal could see the London-based newspaper company control the US media group BuzzFeed in the UK, which includes other brands such as Seasoned, Tasty and HuffPost UK.

The deal, first reported by the Financial Times, would see the combination of two media groups which were once challengers to the traditional news landscape.

The Independent first started printing in 1986, and for a time in the early 1990s its weekday print distribution was higher than that of the Times, hitting close to 390,000. It managed to appeal to younger readers.

But in the late 1990s the group started to lose ground, not least because of a price war among broadsheet newspapers. It was the first UK broadsheet to start printing in the tabloid format, and eventually went fully online from 2016.

BuzzFeed, meanwhile, was founded in the US in 2006 as an online-only operation, and like the Indy had an appeal among younger readers.

Famed for its listicles and online quizzes, the media group also built up a long line of hard-hitting investigative news stories during its heyday.

But last year the company announced it would shut down BuzzFeed News and instead focus its news efforts on the Huffington Post, which it had owned since 2020.

If the deal is successful, the Financial Times reported that workers from the titles would move to the Independent’s London office.

Shares in BuzzFeed closed up nearly 38% yesterday in the US after the news was revealed.