Today’s BuzzFeed-Going-Public Scoop Was Already a Story in 2016

WSJ and Recode had reported on BuzzFeed's potential IPO last November

Axios’ Mike Allen had what appeared to be a scoop this morning on BuzzFeed’s plans to go public next year, something for which the publication has been “quietly making preparations,” as Allen described it.

A number of outlets wrote their own stories based on Allen’s report, but then other kinds of follow-ups emerged, showing just how short historical memory is when it is set against the unrelenting pace of news. As many pointed out on Twitter, the news about a potential BuzzFeed IPO had already come out months ago.

Meanwhile, over at Playbook, the newsletter that Allen created and ran until leaving for Axios last year, there was an item about Allen’s supposed scoop in this afternoon’s Playbook Power Briefing, under the “used news” heading, something that had been an Allen creation. It quoted Lukas Alpert’s Nov. 22 2016 WSJ story in which he had written, “One of the people said the company is intent on targeting an initial public offering by 2018.”

A Recode story from Nov. 18, 2016 mentioned BuzzFeed’s plans to go public in similar fashion, stating, “The publisher is currently looking at 2018 for a possible IPO, according to a source.”

The original stories weren’t focused on the potential IPO, but rather, the second, $200 million investment NBCUniversal was making in BuzzFeed, which perhaps could explain why they were forgotten this morning.