Once the darling of online media, Buzzfeed’s empire continues to crumble
Online media company Buzzfeed is facing a round of layoffs after numerous debacles in their news division, including the controversial publishing of the “Trump dossier” and a recent report denied by special counsel Robert Mueller.
Of the approximately 1,450 employees, about 220 will be fired, according to CNN.
BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti confirmed the report in an internal memo that described the “restructuring” as a way of putting the organization “on a firm foundation and allow us to invest and grow sustainably for years to come.”
Peretti said in the memo that firing part of their staff would allow them to become a “clear winner” in the market without having to raise more funding.
Jeremy Barr of the Hollywood Reporter said that staffers at Buzzfeed had been “panicked” about the impending layoffs just ahead of the news breaking. Rumors of the layoffs began “flying” at the Buzzfeed offices in Washington D.C. and New York on Tuesday.
This is just the latest round of layoffs at the company — in November 2017 another memo from Peretti described an evolution that would involve 100 employees being fired.
Buzzfeed’s news division has been hit by various controversies over their reporting. One firestorm followed upon their decision to publish the “Trump dossier,” which they admitted they could not substantiate.
The report said that Michael Cohen, the president’s former personal lawyer and friend, had testified to the effect that Trump had told him to lie to Congress. The report was celebrated by many of the president’s foes, including many Democratic politicians.
But the celebration turned to lamentation after Mueller released a statement indicating the report was false. Buzzfeed News editor Ben Smith said they stand by the report.