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BuzzFeed to shut news unit to focus on HuffPost and cut 15% staff

2023-04-20T16:18:24Z

A BuzzFeed sign is seen during the company’s debut outside the Nasdaq Market in Times Square in New York City, U.S., December 6, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

BuzzFeed Inc (BZFD.O) said it will shut down its news division with an aim to consolidate its news content in HuffPost and cut its workforce by 15%, sending the shares of the digital media company down 10% on Thursday.

The second round of job cuts will affect 180 employees in teams including business, content, tech and admin, CEO Jonah Peretti said in an email to staff. It had previously cut 12% of its staff in December.

“We’ve faced more challenges than I can count in the past few years,” said Peretti, blaming the pandemic and the subsequent economic downturn for the decline in the digital advertising and BuzzFeed’s business.

The company said the affected News staff would be considered for open roles at the main site BuzzFeed.com and HuffPost, which it had acquired in 2020.

“Moving forward, we will have a single news brand in HuffPost, which is profitable, with a loyal direct front page audience,” Peretti said in the note to employees.

As part of the restructuring, the company said Chief Revenue Officer Edgar Hernandez and Chief Operating Officer Christian Baesler have decided to leave. President Marcela Martin will immediately take over all revenue functions.

BuzzFeed, which produces news, videos and online quizzes, was founded in 2006 by Peretti and John Johnson, and went public in 2021 through a blank-check merger. Its shares have lost 93% of their value since the debut.