BuzzFeed News is shutting down its news division, the company's founder said in a memo to employees Thursday.
"We are reducing our workforce by approximately 15% today across our Business, Content, Tech and Admin teams, and beginning the process of closing BuzzFeed News," co-founder and CEO Jonah Peretti wrote in the email.
He added the company will now have one remaining news brand, HuffPost. The affected staff would be considered for open roles at the main site BuzzFeed.com and HuffPost, which it had acquired in 2020.
"Moving forward, we will have a single news brand in HuffPost, which is profitable, with a loyal direct front page audience," Peretti said in the note to employees.
Peretti called the decision "deeply painful" and cited a tech recession, a tough economy and a decelerating advertising market as factors.
"Additionally, I made the decision to overinvest in BuzzFeed News because I love their work and mission so much," Peretti said. "This made me slow to accept that the big platforms wouldn't provide the distribution and financial support required to support premium, free journalism purpose built for social media."
Peretti also wrote, "We 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."
"I've learned from these mistakes, and the team moving forward has learned from them as well," Peretti wrote. "We know that the changes and improvements we are making today are necessary steps to building a better future."
The announcement comes just a few months after BuzzFeed said that it would be cutting 12% of its workforce, citing worsening economic conditions.
BuzzFeed, which produces news, videos and online quizzes, was founded in 2006 by Peretti and John Johnson, and went public in 2021 through a blank-check merger. Its shares have lost 93% of their value since the debut.
BuzzFeed won a Pulitzer Prize in 2021 for its coverage of China's Xinjiang internment camps.
"We've faced more challenges than I can count in the past few years," said Peretti, blaming the pandemic and the subsequent economic downturn for the decline in the digital advertising and BuzzFeed's business.
As part of the restructuring, the company said Chief Revenue Officer Edgar Hernandez and Chief Operating Officer Christian Baesler have decided to leave. President Marcela Martin will immediately take over all revenue functions.
Information from The Associated Press and Reuters was used in compiling this report.
Solange Reyner is a writer and editor for Newsmax. She has more than 15 years in the journalism industry reporting and covering news, sports and politics.
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