Fairfax Pulls Plug On HuffPost Joint Venture

Fairfax Pulls Plug On HuffPost Joint Venture
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The joint venture between Fairfax Media and HuffPost Australia has ended more than two years after it was launched.

A HuffPost spokesperson said in a statement that employees were briefed today on the decision.

HuffPost will operate a standalone Australian edition from December 1 with a smaller local team,” the spokesperson said. “If redeployment is not possible, regrettably redundancies will occur.”

It’s understood that HuffPost’s Aussie team is around 30-strong.

The local version of the independent publication launched back in August 2015, a day ahead of the schedule.

Chris Janz was initially chosen to lead HuffPost Australia before handing over the reins to ex-Rocket Fuel managing director JJ Eastwood in August last year to take up a newly created role at Fairfax.

At the time of its Aussie launch, HuffPost editor-in-chief Arianna Huffington acknowledged there was already a host of good sites vying for Australian audiences, and said that was both a challenge and an opportunity for the local version.

“As we expand, we’re careful to do it while staying true to our core DNA, and HuffPost Australia will be no exception,” she said.

“For us that means engagement, connection, relentlessly staying on stories we care about, shining a light on what’s working, helping people live thriving lives full of more meaning, purpose, and with less stress and burnout.

“The range we’ll offer for HuffPost Australia, as with all our other editions, will be as big as possible – from global stories and trends, to hyper-local stories about what’s going on in people’s communities, workplaces, backyards, and even in their inner lives. That’s about as local as it gets.”

The commercial team for HuffPost Australia was formed just over a year ago, while Sammy Lewis came on board as commercial director in September from REA.

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