Jonah Peretti

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Jonah Peretti
Peretti in 2013
Born (1974-01-01) January 1, 1974 (age 49)
EducationUniversity of California, Santa Cruz (BS)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MS)
Employer(s)Contagious Media (2001–2006)
The Huffington Post
BuzzFeed (2006–present)
Known forBuzzFeed, The Huffington Post
SpouseAndrea Harner
RelativesChelsea Peretti (sister)
Jordan Peele (brother-in-law)

Jonah H. Peretti[1] (born January 1, 1974) is an Internet entrepreneur, a co-founder and the CEO of BuzzFeed,[2] co-founder of The Huffington Post, and developer of reblogging under the project "Reblog".[3][4][5]

Education and early career[edit]

Peretti was born in California and raised in Oakland, California.[6] His father, a criminal defense lawyer and painter, is of Italian and English descent and his mother (née Cherkin), a schoolteacher, is Jewish. His stepmother was African-American.[7][8] He attended The College Preparatory School in Oakland, followed by the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he graduated with a degree in environmental studies in 1996.[4] He taught computer science classes at Isidore Newman School in New Orleans, in the mid-1990s.[9] He received a master's degree from the MIT Media Lab in 2001.[10]

While at MIT, his email exchange[11] with Nike over a request to print "sweatshop" on custom order shoes went viral.[12]

In 2013,[13] it came to light that after graduating from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1996, Peretti published an article titled "Capitalism and Schizophrenia" in Negations, a Texas-based journal of critical theory.[14] The paper demonstrated the "psychological link between one-dimensionality and advertising".[15]


Peretti co-founded The Huffington Post along with Kenneth Lerer, Andrew Breitbart and Arianna Huffington in 2005.[4][16] He left The Huffington Post in 2011 after it was bought by AOL for $315 million.[4][10][17]

In 2005, Peretti hosted the Contagious Media Showdown at Eyebeam in New York City, where he worked as director of the R&D Lab from 2001 to 2006.[citation needed] During the process Peretti developed the concept of the "Bored-at-Work Network", which he supposes to be larger than some major television network audiences.[18]

Peretti founded the "Internet popularity contest" site BuzzFeed in November 2006.[19] After leaving The Huffington Post, Peretti began working at BuzzFeed full-time.[10] While originally known for its mix of internet memes and listicles, the site was the first to break the news that John McCain would endorse Mitt Romney in the 2012 Republican Primary.[10] The site continued to grow afterward, raising over $35 million in funding from investors the next year.[20] In August 2014, the site raised another $50 million from the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, more than doubling its previous rounds of funding.[21] The site was valued at $850 million by Andreessen Horowitz.[21]

In 2019, Peretti announced that BuzzFeed would be cutting its overall workforce by 15 percent. Peretti said he wanted to reduce costs without resorting to additional fundraising.[22][23] Its remaining workforce then officially unionized, their first successful fight being over laid-off staffers getting their earned paid time off.[24]

In 2021 at a virtual company meeting, Peretti, as BuzzFeed's chief executive, fired 47 employees at HuffPost in a controversial manner, sending a virtual meeting password "spr!ngisH3r3" to laid-off employees. The HuffPost Union, which is affiliated with the Writers Guild of America East, said in a statement that the layoffs had affected 33 of its members, nearly a third of the local union.[25]

Under Peretti's leadership, BuzzFeed has lost about $10 million annually.[26] On April 20, 2023, BuzzFeed under Peretti laid of 15% of its staff and shut down the BuzzFeed News division. In an email to staff on April 20, Peretti stated that the company overinvested in BuzzFeed News "because I love their work and mission so much".[27]

Personal life[edit]

He is the elder brother of comedian, actress and writer Chelsea Peretti.[28] He is married to blogger Andrea Harner, with whom he has twin sons.[28][29][30]


  1. ^ "Jonah H Peretti, Born 01/01/1974 in California". Retrieved February 25, 2019.
  2. ^ "Mid-length video is either 'stuck in the middle' or the future of TV, depending on whether you ask BuzzFeed's CEO or Meg Whitman". Business Insider. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
  3. ^ New York Times, Building a Brand with a Blog, May 15, 2006
  4. ^ a b c d Mesure, Susie (October 19, 2013). "Jonah Peretti: And at number one on Buzzfeed's list is...". Independent. Archived from the original on June 14, 2022.
  5. ^ "Disruptors: Media". Forbes.
  6. ^ "How BuzzFeed's Jonah Peretti Is Building A 100-Year Media Company". Fast Company. Fast Company Magazine.
  7. ^ "Interview: Chelsea and Jonah Peretti discuss their controversial Web site, AM)(Broadcast transcript) - HighBeam Business: Arrive Prepared". Archived from the original on September 1, 2012.
  8. ^ Archived April 2, 2004, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Huffington Post, BuzzFeed co-founder Jonah Peretti started with teaching job at Newman School in New Orleans, website reports".
  10. ^ a b c d Carr, David (February 5, 2012). "Significant and Silly at BuzzFeed". The New York Times. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
  11. ^ "Jonah Peretti and Nike". The Guardian. February 19, 2001. Retrieved November 15, 2014.
  12. ^ Serwer, Andy (December 5, 2013). "Inside the mind of Jonah Peretti". Fortune Magazine. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved August 6, 2019.
  13. ^ Andrew Rice. "Does Buzzfeed Know the Secret? -- New York Magazine - Nymag". New York Magazine. Retrieved January 19, 2022.
  14. ^ "Jonah Peretti – Capitalism and Schizophrenia". Genius. Retrieved January 19, 2022.
  15. ^ "Negations: Capitalism and Schizophrenia". Retrieved January 19, 2022.
  16. ^ Politics, Buzzfeed (March 1, 2012). "How Andrew Breitbart Helped Launch Huffington Post". Buzzfeed. Retrieved October 14, 2020.
  17. ^ Gustin, Sam (February 7, 2011). "AOL Buys Huffington Post for $315 Million, Arianna to Head AOL Media". Wired. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
  18. ^ *Peretti interview in STAY FREE! magazine Archived February 23, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ Beaujon, Andrew (December 3, 2013). "BuzzFeed CEO: Understanding 'how information is shared' can be as valuable as 'traditional reporting talent'". Poynter.
  20. ^ Rice, Andrew (April 7, 2013). "Does BuzzFeed Know the Secret?". New York Magazine. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
  21. ^ a b "BuzzFeed raises another $50 million to fund expansion". CNN. August 10, 2014. Retrieved August 29, 2014.
  22. ^ Ruggiero, Christine Wang, Ryan (January 23, 2019). "BuzzFeed to cut overall workforce by 15%: Source". Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  23. ^ Lee, Edmund (January 23, 2019). "BuzzFeed Plans Layoffs as It Aims to Turn Profit". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  24. ^ Kludt, Tom; Phung, An (February 12, 2019). "BuzzFeed votes to unionize after layoffs". CNN Business.
  25. ^ Robertson, Katie (March 9, 2021). "BuzzFeed lays off 47 HuffPost workers weeks after acquisition". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 20, 2021.
  26. ^ "BuzzFeed investors have pushed CEO Jonah Peretti to shut down entire newsroom, sources say". CNBC.
  27. ^ Peers, Martin; Patel, Sahil; Martineau, Paris (April 20, 2023). "Shuttering of BuzzFeed News Signals Shift to Survival Mode". The Information. Retrieved April 20, 2023.
  28. ^ a b @stylehatch, Style Hatch - "The Jolly, Abrupt, WTF Rise of BuzzFeed". {{cite web}}: External link in |first= (help)
  29. ^ Andrea Harner blog Archived January 9, 2016, at the Wayback Machine; retrieved January 1, 2016.
  30. ^ Bhattacharji, Alex (April 1, 2017). "Peretti Siblings Share a Sense of Humor, Not Just Genes". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 23, 2019.