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Tipsheet

BuzzFeed News Is Shutting Down

BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti announced on Thursday morning that the cat and meme website's "news" division would be shutting down as the company begins the process of laying off 15 percent of its workers.

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In an email to employees who weren't being laid off immediately, Peretti broke news of the layoffs and closure of BuzzFeed News and announced that the company's CRO, Edgar Hernandez, and COO, Christian Baker, had decided to leave BuzzFeed. 

"The changes the Business Organization is making today are focused on reducing layers in their organization, increasing speed and effectiveness of pitches, streamlining our product mix, doubling down on creators, and beginning to bring AI enhancements to every aspect of our sales process," Peretti explained in a pile of corporate jargon. "While layoffs are occurring across nearly every division, we've determined that the company can no longer continue to fund BuzzFeed News," he said. 

A bit more introspective, Peretti said in his email that "I made the decision to overinvest in BuzzFeed News because I love their work and mission so much," a decision that "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."

Peretti added that "[m]ore 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. Our mission, our impact on culture, and our audience is what matters most, but we need a stronger business to protect and sustain this important work," he added. 

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Saying that he has "learned from these mistakes," Peretti added "we know that the changes and improvements we are making today are necessary steps to building a better future."

The BuzzFeed CEO explained that "[o]ver the next couple of months, we will work together to run a more agile and focused business organization with the capacity to bring in more revenue. We will concentrate our news efforts in HuffPost, a brand that is profitable with a highly engaged, loyal audience that is less dependent on social platforms," he added.

Peretti said he remains "confident the future of digital media is ours for the taking" even though the "industry is hurting and ready to be reborn." He emphasized again that BuzzFeed "will bring more innovation to clients in the form of creators, AI, and cultural moments that can only happen across BuzzFeed, Complex, HuffPost, Tasty and First We Feast."

AI, however, had already been used by BuzzFeed News — and clearly didn't save the company's news division.

Some on social media were also quick to point out that BuzzFeed News was just one arm of the left's mainstream media cabal that operated based off cozy relationships with Democrats and led to embarrassing stories that were later completely debunked. 

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Example No. 1: It was BuzzFeed news which first published the debunked Steele Dossier about then-candidate Donald Trump.

And remember the glee of the BuzzFeed News Union?

In an ultimate and final twist of irony, as Peretti explained in his email to staff, the Biden economic downturn contributed significantly to the collapse of BuzzFeed News, yet the site almost always used its pages to attack Republicans while shilling endlessly for Biden and the Democrats who spent-and-taxed the economy into 40-year inflation with slowing growth, necessitating layoffs at numerous pro-Biden companies such as BuzzFeed.

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