Lydia Polgreen is stepping down as editor in chief of news and opinion site HuffPost after three years at the helm, with no successor in place.
Polgreen told staffers Friday morning that she’ll be moving to podcast company Gimlet Media, which was acquired by Spotify earlier this year in a $230 million deal, to take on the head of content role. She joined HuffPost in 2016 from The New York Times, replacing founder Arianna Huffington who left to focus on her company Thrive Global.
“I’ve been an audio obsessive since I was a little expat kid glued to the shortwave radio in our kitchen in Kenya, yearning to connect with the far-flung world,” Polgreen said in the note to staff that she also posted on Twitter. “Gimlet has built the greatest audio team in the world and I’m so lucky to have the chance to learn from them.”
Of her years at HuffPost, she described them as an “adventure of a lifetime, adding that it is a “thriving global news organization with newsrooms across the world that will continue to break news, raise hell and help people live their best lives.”
It’s understood that Verizon Media, the owner of HuffPost, is conducting a search for Polgreen’s replacement, both externally and internally. A spokesperson for Verizon said: “Lydia has been a valuable part of our Verizon Media family and we thank her for all of her contributions. We wish Lydia all the best.”
Polgreen’s departure, which was first reported by The Daily Beast, follows a trying time at HuffPost, with layoffs at the beginning of 2019 and again in October as execs sought to cut costs.
In the wake of these layoffs, HuffPost’s 125-stong union, formed in 2016, recently ratified its second collective bargaining agreement with the Writers Guild of America, East. Its new three-year agreement includes the majority of workers receiving a 3 percent minimum pay increase in 2020, 3 percent in 2021, and 3.25 percent in 2022. The exception being that salaries for senior reporters and editors will increase by 4.5 percent in the first year and fall in line with the rest of the company.
Huffpost UK has also had a recent leadership change. Former BBC Newsnight acting editor Jess Brammar last month took the reins from Jimmy Leach. He departed after less than a year as editor in chief.
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