The digital media company that mastered the listicle format of reporting that many have tried to duplicate announced Thursday it’s closing the doors on one of its well-known divisions.
As a tribute to the award-winning organization, below are five things to know about BuzzFeed, Inc. and the news division that’s no more.
BuzzFeed Inc. CEO and co-founder Jonah Peretti said the closure of BuzzFeed News was part of a 15% workforce reduction across a number of teams.
“While layoffs are occurring across nearly every division, we’ve determined that the company can no longer continue to fund BuzzFeed News as a standalone organization,” he wrote.
The cuts were made, according to Peretti, because there is not enough financial support to sustain operations.
BuzzFeed began its news division just over a decade ago with longtime New York City political reporter Ben Smith as editor-in-chief. Smith served in that role until 2020.
While BuzzFeed News is shutting down, Buzz Feed Inc. is NOT completely getting out of the news business. The company is focusing on HuffPost, which is a profitable news brand it acquired in 2020.
While the media company was known for catchy list-style reporting, BuzzFeed News dug into issues that received global attention. It won its first Pulitzer in 2021 for a series on China’s mass detention of Muslims and was a finalist in the same category for an expose on the global banking industry’s role in money laundering.
BuzzFeed, Inc. has about 1,200 employees; 180 people are said to be impacted by the layoffs. BuzzFeed News staffers impacted by the cuts will be have an opportunity to apply for positions at HuffPost and BuzzFeed.com.
While BuzzFeed News won’t be around to create new content, a spokesperson has said there are continuing discussions about the website. All work will be archived and will remain available online. That’s good news for those who followed BuzzFeed News, and, of course, are a fan of a good list.