Mar 6, 2020 - Economy & Business

HuffPost editor-in-chief Lydia Polgreen leaving for Spotify's Gimlet

Lydia Polgreen. Photo: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for AOL

HuffPost editor-in-chief Lydia Polgreen is exiting the progressive website to become head of content for Gimlet, Polgreen announced in a tweet on Friday. Gimlet is a podcast network and production company acquired by Spotify in 2019.

Why it matters: Polgreen is credited with leading HuffPost through a period of turbulence, which included layoffs, a rebrand and sale rumors.

Details: Polgreen joined HuffPost in late 2016 to replace founder Arianna Huffington. She was previously the editorial director for The New York Times global section.

  • "I'm incredibly grateful to my extraordinary colleagues, and to the leadership of Verizon Media, which has championed HuffPost at a time when aggressive journalism that holds power to account is more necessary and more under threat than ever," Polgreen said in a statement.
  • "I've been an audio obsessive since I was a little expat kid glued to the shortwave radio in out kitchen in Kenya, yearning to connect with the far flung world,"

The big picture: Digital media websites like HuffPost, BuzzFeed and Refinery29 have experienced business hurdles over the past few years, resulting in layoffs and consolidation.

  • Many of those websites launched in an era when social media distribution of digital news content was lucrative and drove tons of traffic and ad revenue back to publishers.
  • Today, most of those sites have tried to diversify their businesses to be less reliant on the changing algorithms of social platforms, particularly Facebook, but not all have been successful.

What's next: Polgreen said she will begin at Gimlet later this spring.

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