BuzzFeed News, BuzzFeed.com’s renowned news arm, has announced its closure as part of a fresh round of layoffs that would reduce the company’s personnel by 15%. BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti announced this to employees on Thursday.
While BuzzFeed, a media and entertainment company, will continue to exist, the 15% reduction in the workforce will impact it as well. Peretti acknowledged that the company could have managed the layoffs better. Still, the decision was made due to various challenges BuzzFeed has faced recently, including a pandemic, declining SPAC market, tech recession, tough economy, stock market decline, and a digital ad market crash.
Peretti expressed his love for BuzzFeed News and how he had “overinvested” in it. Still, the major platforms didn’t provide the necessary distribution and financial support to underpin premium, free journalism made for social media. BuzzFeed News won a Pulitzer Prize in 2021 for reporting that China is detaining hundreds of thousands of Muslims.
In response to these challenges, Peretti and the new revenue leadership team will provide more detail on plans to “accelerate performance.” He has reduced organizational hierarchies, streamlined the product mix, doubled down on creators, and enhanced every aspect of the sales process.
It’s worth noting that an unspecified number of BuzzFeed and BuzzFeed News staffers laid off are expected to be given jobs at The Huffington Post, which Peretti co-founded. This decision is anticipated to be followed by similar large-scale layoffs at big IT firms.
BuzzFeed News’ collapse is a big loss for journalism since the company was noted for its creative approach to news and ability to attract a younger readership. Nevertheless, the decision was made to keep the company afloat amidst numerous challenges and changing industry landscapes. It remains to be seen how the firm will adjust to these changes while remaining loyal to its aim of producing entertaining and meaningful content.