BuzzFeed Shutters Its Newsroom As The Company Undergoes Layoffs
BuzzFeed is shutting down its Pulitzer Prize-winning news division as part of a 15% reduction in force across the company, BuzzFeed CEO and co-founder Jonah Peretti announced.
"While layoffs are occurring across nearly every division, we've determined that the company can no longer continue to fund BuzzFeed News as a standalone organization," Peretti wrote in the memo shared on Thursday via social media.
Peretti said he made the decision to "overinvest in BuzzFeed News because I love their work and mission so much." But this decision — in addition to a rough few years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, tech recession and a decelerating digital advertising market — made it impossible to financially support the news division any further, he said.
Moving forward, BuzzFeed will "concentrate our news efforts in HuffPost, a brand that is profitable with a highly engaged, loyal audience that is less dependent on social platforms," Peretti said. HuffPost and BuzzFeed Dot Com will have a number of select roles opened for members of BuzzFeed News, he said.
BuzzFeed is just the latest media company to announce major layoffs. In recent weeks, NPR cut around 100 people and announced plans to ax four podcasts. The Washington Post, owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, nixed its Sunday magazine and a handful of other newsroom jobs in January. Insider also announced this week it was laying off 10% of staff due to a decline in advertising revenue.
BuzzFeed said it reduced its New York real estate footprint last year, but that it will also be reducing its real estate in Los Angeles now, "from four buildings down to one, which saves millions in costs as well as mirrors our current hybrid state of work."
BuzzFeed News started in 2012 and grew to have more than 100 journalists across the world. The news division was a four-time Pulitzer Prize finalist. Its 2021 Pulitzer Prize award was for the company's international reporting in uncovering the Chinese government's mass detention of Muslims.
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