BuzzFeed and other publications face massive staff layoffs

Sometimes the market sends the clearest messages.

BuzzFeed, the online news outlet most known for ridiculous meme collections, quizzes, and listicles, has tried to rebrand itself as a serious news outlet under CEO Ben Smith, formerly of Politico.

BuzzFeed’s biggest splash was a recent explosive piece claiming that President Trump personally directed his lawyer, Michael Cohen, to lie to Congress about the nature of the Trump Organization’s talks with Russia regarding building a Trump Tower in Moscow. Within 24 hours of the story being published, no other news outlets could independently verify the story and the Special Counsel’s office took the extraordinary step of releasing a statement saying that the story was not accurate.

Now, BuzzFeed hits another rough patch, this time with respect to their bottom line. Breitbart reports that BuzzFeed is cutting 15% of its staff to contend with financial pressures and try to finally start turning a profit. The company currently employs 1300 people and made more than $300 million in 2018.

The unlucky news for BuzzFeed employees follows a round of layoffs at Gannett newspapers including the Indianapolis Star, the Tennessean, the Arizona Republic, and a number of other local newspapers across the country.

Verizon Media, which includes Huffington Post, Yahoo, and AOL, is also laying off 7% of its staff, approximately 800 people.

A tough day for the news media, but some of these outlets are playing fast and loose with the truth, which is obviously backfiring…

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