BuzzFeed to cut staff as it reorganizes its business side

Andrew Cummings
November 29, 2017

The layoffs will come from business operations and will not affect editorial, although some writers are expected to also lose their jobs in Britain.

Peretti explained that the business team "was built to support direct sold advertising but will need to bring in different, more diverse expertise to support these new lines of business". Because BuzzFeed employs 1,700 staffers, the layoffs amount to about 7% of the company.

The move is part of a reorganization to diversify revenue in a hard advertising market where online giants Google and Facebook are dominating. In August, it dropped its longstanding opposition to conventional digital banner advertising in a bid to make it less reliant on driving traffic to promoted posts.

Buzzfeed has announced redundancies worldwide, with 20 United Kingdom staff affected including in its news operation. The site employs around 40 journalists in its United Kingdom newsroom. A new division, BuzzFeed Media Brands, will host Tasty and its other fledgling verticals, including an upcoming fashion-focused effort scheduled to launch next year. "As our strategy evolves, we need to evolve our organization too". In this digital media bust, numerous high profile companies are selling digital advertising, often impressively, but not enough to support the growth in size and expenses that they need.

In a memo to employees, BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti said the jobs being cut in the US were only on the business side.

The reductions represent around eight per cent of its United States workforce and less than six percent of BuzzFeed's 1,700 employees worldwide. The search has already begun for a chief operating officer and it is looking to fill a number of other high-level business roles. The Journal reported earlier this month that BuzzFeed - one of the most high-profile digital media operations which has been expanding globally - had delayed plans for a public share offering and would miss its revenue target of Dollars 350 million by 15 to 20 per cent.

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