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BuzzFeed sheds 15% of staff in latest round of cutbacks to 'focus in on what is working'


By John Glenday, Reporter

January 24, 2019 | 3 min read

BuzzFeed is to further cut its cloth after announcing that 15% of its workforce, equivalent to 250 staff, are set to lose their jobs as the publisher seeks to place itself on a firmer financial footing.


BuzzFeed sheds 15% of staff in latest round of cutbacks

One year after it cut its global workforce by 8%, and faced with a constricting advertising market, BuzzFeed has been forced to take decisive action by slashing costs to compensate for declining income. The announcement was made days after UK editor Janine Gibson departed the company.

Outlining the rationale behind the layoffs in a staff memo chief executive officer Jonah Peretti wrote: “We’ve developed a good understanding of where we can consolidate our teams, focus in on the content that is working, and achieve the right cost structure.

“The restructuring we are undertaking will reduce our costs and improve our operating model so we can thrive and control our own destiny, without ever needing to raise funding again. These changes will allow us to be the clear winner in the market as the economics of digital media continue to improve.”

Long the golden child of new media BuzzFeed has struggled to fuse its enormous success in snaring viewers with a broad mix of news, quizzes and ‘listicles’ into a sustainable business. It has been tinkering with its ad business over the last few years to diversify from the native content it was once exclusively reliant on.

BuzzFeed is far from alone in finding itself forced to adjust to new realities with Verizon Communications confirming that it would be reducing its digital-media operations, which includes AOL, Yahoo and the Huffington Post, by 7%.

In recent months BuzzFeed has 'quietly' solicited donations from readers, emulating a formula successfully employed by the Guardian.

One month ago, BuzzFeed founder Jonah Perretti outlined he was open to media mergers as a means of curbing costs with Vice, Vox Media, Group Nine and Refinery.

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