Published: Sun, January 27, 2019
Money | By Ethel Goodwin

BuzzFeed announces plans to lay off 15 percent of staff

BuzzFeed announces plans to lay off 15 percent of staff

Friday's layoffs come a little over a year after BuzzFeed cut about 100 employees.

Moving forward, Smith said, "I'm confident that we'll continue to do distinctive work on the biggest stories, and punch above our weight".

Many staffers have been dealing with the fallout from the BuzzFeed News controversy last week. In tweets, BuzzFeed News journalists described the situation as "agonizing", "heartbreaking", and "surreal".

The news of editorial layoffs at BuzzFeed follows a challenged week for the news industry overall with HuffPost and Gannett also announcing layoffs. BuzzFeed stands by its reporting.

BuzzFeed now employs just under 1,500 employees, meaning a little more than 200 employees will be leaving.

BuzzFeed, which is cutting 15 percent of its staff, is reportedly exploring a merger with Group Nine, another digital-media company that owns brands like NowThis News and The Dodo. Over the years, its journalists have produced award-winning reporting, and some have been finalists for the Pulitzer Prize.

A Verizon Media spokesperson echoed that sentiment, saying in a statement that the layoffs were part of a "strategic step toward better execution of our plans for growth and innovation into the future".

The Wall Street Journal was the first outlet to report on the layoffs.

While it's unclear if it played a role in the site's profitability, a January 10 Facebook update made it so users would see posts from friends and family before ones from brands and media companies. Verizon Communications said earlier on Wednesday (Jan 23) that it would be cutting about 7 per cent of its digital media operations, a business that includes AOL, Yahoo and the Huffington Post.

BuzzFeed was relying on Facebook traffic for millions of page views and clicks until recently but has seen traffic fall following the social media giant's repeated algorithm changes.

Like this: