BuzzFeed announced that it would lay off 12% of its workforce because of deteriorating economic conditions, just a few months ago. Layoffs were also announced in December.
The company’s chief operating officer, Christian Baesler, and chief revenue officer, Edgar Hernandez, are also leaving after assisting in the restructuring.
The company will have one remaining news brand, HuffPost, Peretti wrote.
Reporters who used to work at BuzzFeed lamented the end of the news department.
“My heart aches for this and I’m proud of the great journalism I’ve done there and since I left,” said Ben Smith, BuzzFeed’s editor from 2011 to 2020 and now Semafor’s editor-in-chief.
Smith made the controversial decision in 2017 to release a “dossier” of information about then-President Donald Trump, though many outlets shunned it as unreliable, and even Buzzfeed said it had good reason to be skeptical these allegations. He wrote at the time: “We make publishing mistakes all the time.
The closure of BuzzFeed “really marks the end of the marriage of news and social media,” said Smith, who transportationa history of the era to come.
BuzzFeed News won its first Pulitzer Prize for international reporting in 2021, with Mega Rajagopalan, Alison Keeling and Kristo Busek on the Chinese government’s massive A series on the infrastructure built to detain Muslims.
That same year, BuzzFeed News and the International Union of Journalists were finalists in the category for exposing the global banking industry’s role in money laundering. A former U.S. Treasury Department employee was sentenced to six months in prison this month for leaking a trove of confidential financial reports that were the basis for the series.
BuzzFeed said Thursday that all jobs in the news department will be retained and offered within the BuzzFeed network. The company is also working to ensure that any stories currently in the works will be published and promoted on BuzzFeed properties.
Associated Press, Bloomberg
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