BuzzFeed News is shutting down, the company’s chief executive, Jonah Peretti, said Thursday in a memo to employees.
Peretti said in the memo, shared with POLITICO, that the move is part of a 15 percent reduction in BuzzFeed’s workforce — about 180 employees.
“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. “As a result, we will engage with the News Guild about our cost reduction plans and what this will mean for the affected union members.”
BuzzFeed News launched in 2011. In 2021, BuzzFeed News won a Pulitzer Prize and was also named a Pulitzer finalist.
A spokesperson for BuzzFeed said the company was planning to keep all of the stories published by the news division archived on its website.
BuzzFeed is consolidating its news operations within HuffPost, and BuzzFeed and HuffPost will offer roles to some BuzzFeed News staffers.
“HuffPost and BuzzFeed Dot Com have signaled that they will open a number of select roles for members of BuzzFeed News,” Peretti said. “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 raised this idea with the News Guild this morning and look forward to discussing it further. Moving forward, we will have a single news brand in HuffPost, which is profitable, with a loyal direct front page audience.”
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.
“Please know that we exhausted many other cost saving measures to preserve as many jobs as possible. We are reducing budgets, open roles, travel and entertainment, and most other discretionary, non-revenue generating expenditures,” Peretti said. “Just as we reduced our footprint in NYC last year, we will be reducing our real estate in Los Angeles — from four buildings down to one, which saves millions in costs as well as mirrors our current hybrid state of work.”
BuzzFeed became a publicly traded company in 2021, though BuzzFeed shares dropped 39% in its first week of trading. In 2019, BuzzFeed laid off about 220 employees across multiple departments.
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