BuzzFeed News Is Dead

BuzzFeed is shuttering its newsroom
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 20, 2023 10:41 AM CDT
BuzzFeed News Is Dead
The homepage at the time of this writing.   (BuzzFeed News)

BuzzFeed News is being shut down, BuzzFeed founder and CEO Jonah Peretti announced in an email sent to staff on Thursday. He wrote that "we are reducing our workforce by approximately 15% today across our Business, Content, Tech, and Admin teams, and beginning the process of closing BuzzFeed News." He continued, "HuffPost and BuzzFeed Dot Com have signaled that they will open a number of select roles for members of BuzzFeed News. ... Moving forward, we will have a single news brand in HuffPost, which is profitable, with a loyal direct front page audience."

Last month, CNBC reported BuzzFeed was slimming down its roughly 100-person news department through voluntary buyouts offered to what sources said was about a third of those employees. CNBC noted that investors had lobbied to have the entire newsroom shut down. Sources said it was losing $10 million annually, and that killing it off would increase the company's market cap by $300 million; CNBC reports shares had crashed 90% since its IPO. The company shut down its news app at the beginning of the month.

CNBC reporter Alex Sherman called Peretti's email an "unusually apologetic note by a CEO." After outlining the challenges that have battered the company (ranging from COVID to a slew of economic headwinds), Peretti writes that "I also want to be clear: I could have managed these changes better as the CEO of this company and our leadership team could have performed better despite these circumstances." He faulted a slow integration of the company's two business organizations, BuzzFeed and Complex and a "decision to overinvest in BuzzFeed News because I love their work and mission so much."

story continues below

"This made me slow to accept that the big platforms wouldn't provide the distribution or financial support required to support premium, free journalism purpose-built for social media," he continued. "More broadly, I regret that I didn't hold the company to higher standards for profitability, to give us the buffer needed to manage through economic and industry downturns and avoid painful days like today. ... I've learned from these mistakes ... It might not feel this way today, but I am confident the future of digital media is ours for the taking. Our industry is hurting and ready to be reborn. We are taking great pains today, and will begin to fight our way to a bright future." (More BuzzFeed stories.)

Get breaking news in your inbox.
What you need to know, as soon as we know it.
Sign up
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.