Buzzfeed Lays Off 47 Huffington Post Employees, Shuts Down HuffPo Canada
BuzzFeed’s acquisition of the Huffington Post is already proving unpopular with employees of the website’s newsroom, who saw 47 of their colleagues laid off in a desperate attempt to make the publication more profitable.
From The Hill:
BuzzFeed announced layoffs in the HuffPost newsroom on Tuesday, just three weeks after finalizing a deal to purchase HuffPost from Verizon Media.
The layoffs will affect 47 U.S. employees. BuzzFeed is also shutting down operations at HuffPost Canada later this month.
The layoffs were made to “fast-track the path to profitability,” BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti told staffers according to HuffPost. Peretti said it would allow the company to break even this year and to eventually turn a profit.
While many news organizations have been hard hit by a shift in online advertising during the pandemic, the Huffington Post’s unionized newsroom said they were “devastated and infuriated” by BuzzFeed’s decision:
“Today, we learned that 33 of our colleagues — nearly 30% of our unit — will be laid off,” the group wrote in a statement.
“We are devastated and infuriated, particularly after an exhausting year of covering a pandemic and working from home. This is also happening less than a month after HuffPost was acquired by BuzzFeed. We never got a fair shot to prove our worth.”
Buzzfeed made a deal to purchase the Huffington Post from Verizon last month, saying the publication and Buzzfeed would operate as “separate, distinct news organizations.”
“Though BuzzFeed is a profitable company, we don’t have the resources to support another two years of losses,” said BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti.
“We want to ensure the homepage remains a top destination on the internet,” he added. “We also want to maintain high traffic, preserve your most powerful journalism, lean more deeply into politics and breaking news, and build a stronger business for affiliate revenue and shopping content.”
BuzzFeed has not been immune to revenue issues themselves, announcing last May that it was furloughing dozens of employees in an effort to stop losses. By July, 67% of those furloughed employees were laid off.
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