Online news portal BuzzFeed, which also owns the Huffington Post and Complex Networks, has laid off at least 180 employees or 12 per cent of its workforce, as media layoffs grow amid the challenging global conditions.
BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti said in an internal memo to impacted individuals that we are reducing our workforce by approximately 12 per cent and “letting many talented colleagues go”.
“I want all of you, but especially those that are receiving difficult news today, to know that these changes do not reflect on the good work that these employees have done over the years to build our company and our brands,” Peretti added.
He said that in order for BuzzFeed to weather an economic downturn “that I believe will extend well into 2023, we must adapt, invest in our strategy to serve our audience best, and readjust our cost structure”.
According to the company, the reduction in workforce plan is intended to reduce the company’s costs in response to a combination of factors, including challenging macroeconomic conditions, completing the integration of Complex Media and eliminating redundancies where they exist in both functions and teams.
The CEO said that revenues are being impacted by a combination of worsening macroeconomic conditions, and the ongoing audience shift to vertical video, which is still developing from a monetization standpoint.
“That requires us to lower our costs. Unfortunately, reducing our workforce is an essential part of cost cutting. Staff salaries are the single largest cost at the company,” he added.
Earlier this month, media giant CNN informed employees about layoffs. The move was expected to impact hundreds of staffers at the global news network and mark the deepest cuts to the organisation in years, the company said in an internal memo.
CNN CEO Chris Licht described the cuts in an all-staff memo as a “gut punch” to the organisation. “It will be a difficult time for everyone,” Licht wrote in his memo.
The media and entertainment industry worldwide has been hit with job cuts as advertisers reduce spending amid the global economic slowdown.
According to Axios, more than 3,000 jobs have been cut till October this year in the media industry, and more are on the way.
From Warner Bros Discovery to Paramount Global to The Walt Disney Company, media outlets have announced layoffs, hiring freeze and other cost-cutting measures.