BuzzFeed News is closing down. BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti informed the staff of this decision on Thursday. The company is undergoing a wave of layoffs that will result in a 15 percent reduction of its workforce.
Peretti said in a memo sent to employees that was shared with the Verge, “While layoffs have been occurring across almost every division, the company has determined that it can no longer fund BuzzFeed News on its own.” Peretti stated that the company would be focusing on HuffPost as its news brand, since the publication was “profitable” and had a “loyal direct front page audience.” The memo shared with The Verge said the company could no longer fund BuzzFeed News as a standalone organization.
Peretti stated that he made the decision to “overinvest” in BuzzFeed News, because he loves its work and mission. Peretti said that he “made the decision to overinvest” in BuzzFeed News because he loved its work and mission.
Peretti explained that BuzzFeed has made these changes because “we have faced more challenges in the last few years than I can remember: a pandemic; a fading SPAC (small business investment companies) market which yielded less money; a difficult economy; a declining stock exchange, an accelerating digital advertising market as well as ongoing audience and platform shifting.” Peretti said that dealing with these challenges at the same time is one of the reasons why the company had to make difficult decisions, such as reducing spending and eliminating more jobs. You can find the full memo of Peretti at the bottom of this article.
BuzzFeed is struggling to adapt due to platform changes. You can read more about this in , an excellent article by my colleague Mia Sato. It has also experimented with AI-generated content, such as quizzes or travel guides. In December , it laid off 12 per cent of its staff.
Peretti, the CEO of BuzzFeed, also stated, “While layoffs have occurred in nearly every division, it has been determined that BuzzFeed News cannot continue to be funded as a separate organisation by our company.”
Peretti added that his love of BuzzFeed News’ work and mission led him to over-invest in the company. He added, “This made it difficult for me to accept the fact that the major platforms would not provide the financial or distribution support needed to support premium journalism designed specifically for social media.”
Peretti stated that he would be engaging with the News Guild Union regarding cost reduction plans, and what this might mean for the affected union members.
The CEO of BuzzFeed News said that both CRO Edgar Hernandez, and COO Christian Baesler, also left the company. He added that they had faced many challenges over the last few years, such as the Coronavirus pandemic, and the fading SPAC industry.
Peretti claimed that he failed to hold his company to the higher standards of profitability.