BuzzFeed to Close News Division Amid Cost-Cutting Measures

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Digital media company BuzzFeed has announced the closure of its news division as part of a cost-saving exercise. The decision comes after a challenging period that has seen a recession in the tech sector and a struggling stock market. The company cited the coronavirus pandemic, audience and platform shifts, decelerating digital advertising, and less capital as additional factors behind the move. Shares in BuzzFeed fell by over 20% following the announcement.

BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti has admitted partial responsibility for the closure and conceded that he could have managed the changes better. In a memo to staff, Peretti confirmed the company would concentrate its news output on its HuffPost website, offering some BuzzFeed News staff members positions at the site. BuzzFeed News had been founded in 2011 and won numerous awards for its coverage, including a Pulitzer Prize in 2021 for its coverage of Chinese government detention of Muslims in Xinjiang.

Peretti said that he had overinvested in BuzzFeed News because of his love of its work and mission, but had been slow to accept that social media platforms would not provide the financial support required to maintain the service. He added that he regretted not setting higher standards for profitability. The company is cutting its workforce by around 15% and closing BuzzFeed News, resulting in the loss of dozens of jobs.

BuzzFeed, which was created in 2006, became known for its lists and quizzes before branching out into news. The company acquired the Huffington Post news site in 2020, but has now decided to concentrate solely on HuffPost as a single news brand.

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