Buzzfeed cuts staff and shuts news site as downturn bites

by | Apr 24, 2023 | News

Digital first content provider Buzzfeed has unveiled plans to cut its workforce by around 15%. Revealed via an internal memo and a stock market filing, the company said the reduction in workforce, which will affect around 200 people, “is part of a broader strategic reprioritisation across the company to accelerate revenue growth and improve upon profitability and cash flow. The company expects to substantially complete the reduction in workforce plan by the end of the second quarter of 2023.”

The cuts will be spread across the organisation, but the highest profile casualty is the company’s news site, which is to be closed. Going forward, the company will concentrate on delivering news via HuffPost, which Buzzfeed acquired in 2020.

Buzzfeed CEO, Jonah Peretti called the decision “deeply painful” and attributed it in part to a decline in ad revenue – a problem that has afflicted most major online players. Regarding the closure of the news operation, he acknowledged that he had been “slow to accept” the challenges involved in making money from online news.

Buzzfeed will release its Q1 2023 results on May 9, 2023. That will provide a solid indicator as to how the company is faring during the current economic downturn. Earlier this year, the company reported revenues of $436.7 million for 2022, 46% of which were generated through advertising. At the time, Peretti said he was prioritising short-form vertical video and this year’s hot topic AI, adding that there was “more work to do to realise the full potential of our combined brand portfolio.”

This move by Buzzfeed highlights the ongoing challenges faced by digital content providers to remain profitable in a highly competitive market. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, companies are being forced to reassess their digital content strategy and adapt to changing consumer preferences to remain relevant. This has led to an increased focus on building a strong digital platform and investing in innovative technologies to stay ahead of the curve.

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