What’s the buzz? Not much from closing BuzzFeed News

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BuzzFeed News is closing its doors this week. 

BuzzFeed Inc. CEO Jonah Peretti made the announcement Thursday that the news division of the company would be shutting down. 

“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 said.

The move is part of larger cuts across all of BuzzFeed, with the company looking to fire 15% of its staff.  

The CEO said some of the fired employees might be able to secure roles at HuffPost, which the company acquired in 2020. Mr. Peretti said HuffPost has dedicated readers and is profitable, while BuzzFeed News is not. 

While Mr. Peretti said the economy contributed to the decision to close BuzzFeed News, he admitted his choices hurt the company. 

“I also want to be clear: I could have managed these changes better as the CEO of this company and our leadership team could have performed better despite these circumstances,” Mr. Peretti said. “I made the decision to overinvest in BuzzFeed News because I love their work and mission so much.”

The CEO also said he plans to discuss what the firings mean for NewsGuild union members who will be let go. 

Since launching in 2012, BuzzFeed News has commanded significant respect in the industry, especially after securing a Pulitzer Prize in 2021 for its reporting on the Chinese government’s internment of Muslims.

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