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For 1K in Media, It's Bad News

Layoffs hit BuzzFeed, HuffPo, and others
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 26, 2019 5:56 PM CST
In this Sept. 2, 2015, file photo the BuzzFeed website is displayed on an iPad held by an Associated Press staffer in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

(Newser) – For many reporters, it's been a hard week. Roughly 1,000 editors, writers, and other media employees were laid off, and more cuts may be coming, the Cut reports. It began Wednesday when Verizon—the owner of AOL, Yahoo, and the Huffington Post—said 7% of its staff was getting the ax. Then the Wall Street Journal reported that BuzzFeed was showing around 250 workers the door, and Gannet Co., the owner of over 1,000 newspapers nationwide, erased roughly 400 jobs. Thursday, the details: Buzzfeed was killing off its national desk and leaving its LGBT desk with just one person, per the New York Times, while HuffPo was laying off about 20 employees including Pulitzer Prize finalist Jason Cherkis.

Seems Web traffic and ad dollars are to blame, with a HuffPo rep telling CNN the news site is "investing its talents and resources to areas that have high audience engagement"; BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti says the move is designed to "focus in on the content that is working." Apropos, the Times notes that BuzzFeed isn't making cuts in politics, technology, or investigations. But some employees are blaming Google and Facebook for siphoning off digital ad dollars: "It's happening because two very large companies have taken the advertising revenue that journalism outlets rely on and replaced it with nothing," tweets HuffPost senior reporter Zach Carter. (In related news, here's how Robert Mueller's office responded to a major BuzzFeed report.)

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