New Delhi: In shocking news to the global media industry, the Pulitzer Prize-winning news arm of BuzzFeed.com is being shut down, CEO Jonah Peretti announced on Thursday.
The media outlet said that it is reducing the workforce by approximately 15 per cent across business, content, tech and admin teams, and beginning the process of closing BuzzFeed News.
“Additionally, we are proposing headcount reductions in some international markets,” Peretti said in a memo to staff.
“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 said in a memo which was shared with The Verge.
The company would focus on HuffPost, which it acquired in 2020, as the company’s news brand.
“Impacted employees (other than those in BuzzFeed News) will receive an email from HR shortly. If you are receiving this note from me, you are not impacted by today’s changes. For BuzzFeed News, we have begun discussions with the News Guild about these actions,” said the CEO.
Both CRO Edgar Hernandez and COO Christian Baesler have made the decision to exit the company.
“We will engage with the News Guild about our cost reduction plans and what this will mean for the affected union members. HuffPost and BuzzFeed Dot Com have signalled that they will open a number of select roles for members of BuzzFeed News,” Peretti informed.
These roles will be aligned with those divisions’ business goals and match the skills and strengths of many of BuzzFeed News’s editors and reporters.
“We’ve faced more challenges than I can count in the past few years: a pandemic, a fading SPAC market that yielded less capital, a tech recession, a tough economy, a declining stock market, a decelerating digital advertising market and ongoing audience and platform shifts,” said the CEO.