In a memo to employees on Thursday morning, BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti revealed that the media company Buzzfeed News is set to shut down, as it prepares to reduce its workforce by 15%.
“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 the memo shared with news outlet USA TODAY.
“We’ve faced more challenges than I can count in the past few years,” Peretti continued. “Dealing with all of these obstacles at once is part of why we’ve needed to make the difficult decisions to eliminate more jobs and reduce spending.”
BuzzFeed’s business, content, tech, and administration teams are also included in the job cuts.
According to CEO Jonah Peretti, BuzzFeed News is shutting down due to several challenges, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, a tech recession, a tough economy, declining stock market, decelerating digital advertising market, ongoing audience and platform shifts, and the integration of BuzzFeed and Complex.
“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 said.
“I made the decision to overinvest in BuzzFeed News because I love your work and mission so much. This made me slow to accept that the big platforms wouldn’t provide the distribution or financial support required to support premium, free journalism purpose-built for social media.
Following the shutdown of BuzzFeed News, the only news site that BuzzFeed Inc. will have is HuffPost, which was acquired in 2020. In reference to HuffPost, Peretti says that it has a loyal direct front page audience and is profitable.
The 180 staff members who are being laid off from BuzzFeed News will have an opportunity to apply for positions at Buzzfeed.com and HuffPost in areas where the companies are looking to expand their coverage.
“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,” Perretti said. “Moving forward, we will have a single news brand in HuffPost, which is profitable, with a loyal direct front page audience.”