Buzzfeed News Is Shutting Down, Says Company CEO

BuzzFeed is shutting down its news operation, CEO Jonah Peretti told staff via email on Thursday.

via The Independent:

An internal email obtained by The Independent informed staff of the decision to close the news division and cut its business, content, tech and admin teams by 15 per cent, affecting about 180 jobs.

“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 organisation,” he told staff.

In the email, Mr Peretti said he had overinvested in BuzzFeed News “because I love their 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,” he wrote.

The digital media company had been unable to ward off the impacts of the pandemic, a tech recession, a tough economy and a “decelerating advertising market”, he said.

“We’ve faced more challenges than I can count in the past few years.”

After the news broke at around 11am, BuzzFeed’s stock price plummeted by 16 per cent to 78 cents.

Mr Peretti admitted that the publicly-listed company’s leadership team “could have performed better despite the challenges in the world”.

The firm has begun discussions with the NewsGuild, the journalist union, about compensation packages, he said.

The tech industry has been rocked by a slowing economy, higher interest rates and global uncertainty this year.

According to which tracks jobs losses the industry, nearly 170,000 workers have lost their jobs so far in 2023.

Google, Amazon, Facebook’s parent company Meta, and Microsoft have announced thousands of job cuts as they try to trim costs.

See screenshots of Jonah Peretti’s email below.

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