BuzzFeed News Will No Longer Buzz
The digital media and entertainment company BuzzFeed is shutting down its popular news division BuzzFeed News. On April 20, a memo was sent to staff by CEO Jonah Peretti. In it, he announced that the organization could no longer be funded and that the shutdown would begin Thursday.
Peretti himself takes on most of the blame in the memo, citing missteps that led to this downfall: the slow unification of BuzzFeed and Complex, an overinvestment that caused hesitancy in partnering with distribution platforms, and a lack of standards for profitability.
This decision was part of a larger move made by the parent company attempting 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.”
With 180 employees affected by layoffs, the 60 or so BuzzFeed News employees were informed by Peretti that HuffPost and BuzzFeed Dot Com would open roles for a number of the let go employees. Moving forward, HuffPost will be the sole news brand because of its profitability and “loyal direct front page audience.”
This difficult decision was not made out of haste. Peretti describes how all other options were exhausted, and that the company is doing whatever they can to save as many jobs as possible such as reducing budget, real estate, and other non-revenue generating expenditures.
Promising to continue to lead to the best of his abilities, Peretti provides that they will continue to empower all their editorial teams across BuzzFeed, Complex, HuffPost, Tasty, and First We Feast.