- BuzzFeed will lay off 15% of staff, or about 218 employees.
- The company began laying off staff at BuzzFeed News on Friday, dismantling the health, national, and national-security desks.
- The BuzzFeed News cuts follow a challenged week for the news industry overall, which also saw layoffs at HuffPost and Gannett.
BuzzFeed began laying off employees on Friday a day after CEO Jonah Peretti sent an email to staff telling them cuts were on the way.
The layoffs will affect 15% of BuzzFeed’s total staff of 1,450, or about 218 employees.
While it’s unclear where the majority of the cuts will be made, BuzzFeed News, with about 300 staffers, has dismantled three desks so far, according to a source familiar with the matter.
Its health desk of two reporters; the national desk focused on long-term features; and its national-security team have all been gutted. BuzzFeed News’ office in Spain has also closed.
The tech and politics staffs will remain intact, according to a source familiar with the matter. The investigations team will also remain largely intact, except for one reporter who got a layoff notice today.
BuzzFeed News has published impactful political reporting over the past year but has been a drag on the company’s finances. Just last week it published a bombshell report that President Donald Trump directed his personal lawyer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress. The story has been called into question after Robert Muller denied the reporting without pointing out specific inaccuracies. BuzzFeed stands by its reporting.
Friday’s layoffs come a little over a year after BuzzFeed cut about 100 employees. It missed its 2017 revenue target and has yet to make a consistent profit. It’s been experimenting with other streams of revenues like a $US5-a-month subscription service that gets readers exclusive newsletters and other paywalled content.
The news of editorial layoffs at BuzzFeed follows a challenged week for the news industry overall with HuffPost and Gannett also announcing layoffs.