Pulitzer Prize-winning digital media outlet BuzzFeed News is being shut down as part of a cost-cutting drive by its corporate parent that’s shedding about 15% of its entire staff, adding to layoffs made earlier this year.
Photo Insert: BuzzFeed has about 1,200 total employees, according to a recent regulatory filing, meaning about 180 people will be losing their jobs in the latest cuts.
In a memo sent to staff, Buzzfeed Inc. co-founder and CEO Jonah Peretti said Thursday that in addition to the news division, layoffs would take place in its business, content, tech and administrative teams.
BuzzFeed is also considering making job cuts in international markets, Michelle Chapman reported for the Associated Press (AP).
BuzzFeed has about 1,200 total employees, according to a recent regulatory filing, meaning about 180 people will be losing their jobs in the latest cuts.
Peretti said in his memo that he “made the decision to overinvest” in the news division, but failed to recognize early enough that the financial support needed to sustain operations was not there. Digital advertising has plummeted this year, cutting into the profitability of major tech companies from Google to Facebook.
Waves of layoffs have rolled through the tech industry and more are expected. “I’ve learned from these mistakes, and the team moving forward has learned from them as well,” Peretti wrote in the memo.
Christian Baesler, Buzzfeed Inc.’s chief operating officer, and Edgar Hernandez, its chief revenue officer, are also leaving after they assist with the restructuring.
The company will have one remaining news brand, HuffPost, Peretti wrote. Journalists who previously worked at BuzzFeed News lamented its end.
“I’m heartsick about it, and proud of the great journalism we did when I was there and after I left,” said Ben Smith, BuzzFeed News’ editor from 2011 to 2020 and now editor-in-chief of Semafor.
Smith made the controversial decision in 2017 to publish a “dossier” of information about then-President Donald Trump, though many outlets avoided it as unreliable, and even Buzzfeed said there were serious reasons to doubt the allegations.
He wrote then that “we have always erred on the side of publishing, David Bauder also reported for AP.