HuffPost Names Danielle Belton as New Editor

From a New York Times story by Katie Robertson headlined “HuffPost Names Danielle Belton as New Top Editor”:

Danielle Belton, who led The Root for the last five years, will take over the top job at HuffPost next month, filling a role that has sat empty for more than a year.

Ms. Belton’s appointment was announced Wednesday by Jonah Peretti, the chief executive of BuzzFeed, which acquired HuffPost in February.

“I realized that journalism was right for me when I was in J-school at college, and I realized that these are my people. I got the same feeling talking to HuffPost staff,” Ms. Belton said. “That these are people who are really passionate about getting people the information they need in order to make the best choices possible about their day-to-day lives. These are people who love informing the world.”…

Ms. Belton, 43, the editor in chief of The Root, a Black news and culture site owned by G/O Media, was offered the job last week.

HuffPost, originally known as The Huffington Post after its founder Arianna Huffington, has struggled financially in recent years in the competitive digital news space. Its most recent editor in chief, Lydia Polgreen, a former Times editor who had led the website since 2016, left for Gimlet Media last March. HuffPost has since been led by the executive editor, Hillary Frey.

BuzzFeed announced in November that it was acquiring HuffPost from Verizon Media. On March 9, shortly after the deal was completed, BuzzFeed laid off 47 HuffPost employees and closed the publication’s Canadian edition….

The company was criticized for the way it handled the layoff announcement, which included requiring employees to use the password “spr!ngisH3r3,” a variation on “spring is here,” to enter the video meeting.

Ms. Belton now faces the task of uniting a reeling newsroom and charting a new course for the publication under BuzzFeed….

Ms. Belton, who describes herself as “a hard-core nerd about media,” said her priority was to create a more diverse newsroom. She said leadership had told her that it was committed to diversity and that she would be able to hire more workers.

“I feel very strongly that all newsrooms should be diverse, all newsrooms should reflect the different communities that make up this country,” she said….

Ms. Belton was the first editor in chief of The Root. She has written and edited for publications including theGrio, Essence, The Washington Post and The Times. She also created the award-winning blog The Black Snob.

Ms. Belton will start her new role on April 12.

Katie Robertson is a media reporter. She previously worked as an editor and reporter at Bloomberg and News Corporation Australia.

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