The Pulitzer Prize-winning digital media outlet BuzzFeed News will shut down as part of a cost-cutting effort by its corporate owners, which will also result in the layoff of an additional 15% of its whole workforce.
Jonah Peretti, co-founder and CEO of Buzzfeed Inc., announced Thursday that the company will be making cuts to its business, content, technology, and administrative teams in addition to its news section. Additionally, BuzzFeed is thinking about eliminating positions in foreign markets.
According to a recent regulatory filing, BuzzFeed employs roughly 1,200 people overall, so the most recent layoffs will affect about 180 people.
In his memo, Peretti claimed that he “made the decision to overinvest” in the news section but failed to grasp the lack of the necessary funding for operations at an early enough stage.
This year, digital advertising fell precipitously, reducing the income of big tech firms like Google and Facebook. The tech sector has experienced waves of layoffs, and more are anticipated.
Peretti stated in the memo, “I’ve learnt from these mistakes, and the team moving forward has also learned from them. “We are aware that the adjustments and advancements we are making now are steps towards constructing a better future.”
The announcement comes just after BuzzFeed announced it would let off 12% of its staff due to the deteriorating economic climate. Additionally disclosed in December were job layoffs at.
After helping with the restructure, Buzzfeed Inc.’s chief operating officer, Christian Baesler, and chief revenue officer, Edgar Hernandez, are also departing the company.
According to Peretti, there will only be one news brand left for the company: HuffPost.
Former BuzzFeed News employees expressed regret at the company’s closure.
Ben Smith, who served as editor of BuzzFeed News from 2011 to 2020 and is currently the editor in chief of Semafor, said, “I’m heartsick about it and proud of the amazing journalism we accomplished when I was there and after I left.
In 2017, Smith took the contentious choice to make a “dossier” of information about the then-President Donald Trump public. Many media outlets ignored it because they believed it was untrustworthy, and even Buzzfeed stated that there were compelling grounds to distrust the accusations. We have always erred on the side of publishing, he wrote at the time.
The demise of BuzzFeed News “really marks the end of the marriage between news and social media,” according to Smith, the upcoming author of “Traffic,” a chronicle of that time.
For a series by Megha Rajagopalan, Alison Killing, and Christo Buschek on the facilities put in place by the Chinese government for the widespread imprisonment of Muslims, BuzzFeed News received its first Pulitzer in international reporting in 2021.
In the same year, an exposé on the role of the international banking sector in money laundering by BuzzFeed News and the International Consortium of Journalists was a finalist in that category. This month, a former employee of the U.S. Treasury Department received a six-month prison term for disclosing the vast collection of private financial documents that formed the foundation for the television series.
On Thursday, BuzzFeed announced that all of the news division’s work would be archived and made accessible throughout the BuzzFeed network. Additionally, the business is striving to ensure that any stories that are in the works will be published and promoted on BuzzFeed websites.