BuzzFeed News is CLOSING after owner Jonah Peretti admitted progressive site was losing money

BuzzFeed is AXING its prestigious news division after it lost $10m a year as part of cuts which will see 15% of staff slashed across site and its sister outlet HuffPost

  • BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti announced the closure of the news division on Thursday
  • Some employees will be offered jobs at HuffPost
  • BuzzFeed has lost millions in recent years and is desperately slashing costs 

The Pulitzer Prize winning Buzzfeed News brand is to shut down, according to a new memo to staff from the company’s CEO and founder in order to concentrate more efforts on HuffPost. 

‘We are reducing our workforce by approximately 15 percent today across our Business, Content, Tech and Admin teams, and beginning the process of closing BuzzFeed News,’ CEO Jonah Peretti said in the message. 

The company is only closing its news division. The news came shortly after rival Business Insider announced that it is planning to lay off around ten percent of its news division. 

‘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 continued.

The layoffs will affect 180 employees in teams including business, content, tech and admin teams. The workforce of the entire Buzzfeed operation will be cut by 15 percent.  

The Pulitzer Prize winning Buzzfeed News brand is to shut down, according to a new memo to staff from the company’s CEO and founder

Buzzfeed CEO Jonah Peretti announced the layoffs in a memo to staff in which he stated that he had 'overinvested' in the news division

Buzzfeed CEO Jonah Peretti announced the layoffs in a memo to staff in which he stated that he had ‘overinvested’ in the news division

The owner went on say that he ‘overinvested’ in the news brand ‘because [he] loved their work and mission so much.’

Peretti said that some staff will be offered roles at The Huffington Post, a website that he co-founded in 2005. He also said that website is now profitable. Buzzfeed acquired The Huffington Post in November 2020 in a stock deal. 

‘Today I was laid off while on maternity leave. Please keep me in your thoughts. Absolutely no words. Thanks Buzzfeed,’ on-air broadcaster Alana Yzola, who works for company’s Complex brand, tweeted. 

According to Peretti’s memo, the CEO said that ‘premium, free journalism’ was not financially viable ‘because big platforms’ won’t distribute the content. 

Peretti also said that he would be in contact with the News Guild union with regards to staffers who are members. 

Following the news, the company’s stock sank by 26 percent.  

‘I could have managed these changes better as the CEO of this company and our leadership team could have performed better despite these circumstances,’ Peretti wrote.

‘Our job is to adapt, change, improve, and perform despite the challenges in the world. We can and will do better.’

At the end of last year, Buzzfeed laid of 12 percent of staff. 

Advertisers, on which BuzzFeed relies, have broadly pulled back spending to address rising costs. Spending on advertising is typically among the most elastic items in a company’s budget and is often the first place to see cuts.

Social media and other companies who rely on digital advertising have also recently announced layoffs including Facebook parent Meta, Twitter and Snapchat. 

BuzzFeed, founded by Peretti in 2006 and initially known for listicles and online quizzes, established itself as a serious contender in the news business, winning a Pulitzer in 2021 for international reporting. 

Its other brands include Tasty, the world’s largest social food network.

It has been buying up competitors, including HuffPost, the media outlet founded in 2005 as The Huffington Post, from Verizon Media in 2020.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk