BuzzFeed announces plans to lay off 15 percent of staff

Anna Jefferson
January 27, 2019

The layoffs will affect 15% of BuzzFeed's total staff of 1,450, or about 218 employees.

In his note to staff, Jonah Peretti, BuzzFeed's co-founder and chief executive, referenced the hard news environment.

NBCUniversal (which owns NBC News) has a $400 million investment in BuzzFeed, which is also backed by internet entrepreneur Kenneth Lerer. The entertainment team also suffered some cuts.

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

Katie Rayford, manager of communications, BuzzFeed News said that it received feedback from its audience and partners that the mix of content was "confusing" in the older BuzzFeed webpage.

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

"After 7+ years, I've been laid off by BuzzFeed", tweeted Mike Hayes, a senior reporter at BuzzFeed News.

Numerous laid-off employees took to Twitter to announce the news and seek new opportunities.

BuzzFeed was not the only media company to announce layoffs this week.

Verizon Media Group, which owns outlets such as Yahoo News and HuffPost, confirmed it was laying off up to 800 people, while Gannett, which owns USA Today and a host of local newspapers, also reduced its staff on Wednesday.

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In total, about 1,000 jobs have been lost in the media industry since Monday.

Jonah Peretti, founder and CEO, Buzzfeed, speaks at The Wall Street Journal Digital Conference in Laguna Beach, California, U.S., on October 18, 2017.

Later, it launched a news unit that that, despite being a financial drag on the company, has built a strong reputation and was a finalist for a Pulitzer prize previous year.

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.

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