: BuzzFeed to lay off 15% of staff, shut down BuzzFeed News


BuzzFeed Inc. BZFD, -22.70% said Thursday it was laying off about 15% of its workforce and winding down BuzzFeed News as a standalone company as founder and Chief Executive Jonah Peretti said the company has faced “more challenges than I can count in the past few years.” Chief Revenue Officer Edgar Hernandez and Chief Operating Officer Christian Baesler will leave, the company said. The focus is on reducing layers in the organization, streamlining the product mix, “doubling down” on social-media creators, and bringing AI to the sales process, Peretti said in a memo to staff. HuffPost and BuzzFeed.com will open “a number of select roles for members of BuzzFeed News,” the CEO said. HuffPost, which is profitable and enjoys a “loyal direct front page audience,” will be BuzzFeed’s single news brand, Peretti said. “We’ve faced more challenges than I can count in the past few years: a pandemic, a fading SPAC market that yielded less capital, a tech recession, a tough economy, a declining stock market, a decelerating digital advertising market and ongoing audience and platform shifts,” he said. “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 has about 1,200 employees as of December. It had 1,368 employees across seven countries that month, and announced layoffs hitting about 12% of its workforce. BuzzFeed shares have lost 85% in the past 12 months, compared with losses of around 7% for the S&P 500 index. SPX, -0.39%

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