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Digital Media Company BuzzFeed Plans to Slash 15% of Jobs

January 30, 2019

The increasingly challenging advertising digital market has forced BuzzFeed Inc. to eliminate 15 percent of its headcount across the company. In a memo to employees, Executive Officer Jonah Peretti addressed the move as the impact of the company’s pullback in dealing with “the evolving economics of digital platforms”.

He said, “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.”

BuzzFeed, a pioneering site that spans hard news, personality quizzes and listicle-style features, was long seen as a way for journalism to prosper in a post-print era. But growth alone hasn’t been enough to ensure success, Peretti said in his memo.

“The restructuring we are undertaking will reduce our costs and improve our operating model so we can thrive and control our own destiny, without ever needing to raise funding again,” he said. “These changes will allow us to be the clear winner in the market as the economics of digital media continue to improve.”

According to the report published by Wall Street Journal, the retrenchments are expected to affect up to 250 employees. In his memo, Peretti promised to share more about the company’s plans in the next few days.

“Even though I’m confident this is the right business decision, it is upsetting and disappointing,” he said.

The cutbacks are part of a wave of media layoffs that have been seen in the early 2019. Verizon Communications Inc. said earlier Wednesday that it would be cutting about 7 percent of its digital-media operations, a business that includes AOL, Yahoo and the Huffington Post. Gannett Inc. also has been laying off journalists from its collection of newspapers, Bloomberg reports.

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