Published: Sat, January 26, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

BuzzFeed announces plans to lay off 15 percent of staff

BuzzFeed announces plans to lay off 15 percent of staff

BuzzFeed began laying off employees on Friday a day after CEO Jonah Peretti sent an email to staff telling them cuts were on the way.

"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 to support our multi-revenue model", he wrote. "These changes will allow us to be the clear victor in the market as the economics of digital media continue to improve".

BuzzFeed now employs just under 1,500 employees, meaning a little more than 200 employees will be leaving.

"I care about the people at Buzzfeed more than anything other than my family", Peretti said.

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"These are talented people, friends, and valued colleagues, who've made huge contributions to our success, and who've done nothing wrong", Peretti said Wednesday.

The announcement comes at a turbulent time for the online media industry, which has seen several of its biggest names slash their staffs in recent months.

A Verizon Media spokesperson echoed that sentiment, saying in a statement that the layoffs were part of a "strategic step toward better execution of our plans for growth and innovation into the future". Politico's Michael Calderone reports at least 15 unionized staffers were fired from the left-wing news website, which also included the elimination of its opinion section.

Over the previous year or so, BuzzFeed has taken steps to stabilize revenue through selling ads on programmatic platforms and launching a membership program for its news business, BuzzFeed News. "Not how I wanted 35 year journalism career to end". Mueller's office, in a rare moment, issued a statement disputing the story, though it did not offer specifics. "Our loss will be to the benefit of other organizations where I know you will go on to make formidable contributions".

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