BuzzFeed to Shut Down BuzzFeed News and Lay Off 15% of Staff to Reduce Losses

BuzzFeed, the digital media company known for its viral content and news reporting, has announced that it is shutting down BuzzFeed News, its highest-profile division. The move comes as part of a broader effort to reduce losses, which also includes laying off 15% of its staff, or 180 people.[0] The cutbacks highlight the financial pressures on BuzzFeed and are likely to increase investor pressure on CEO Jonah Peretti to sell the company.[0]

Peretti explained in a memo to employees that while layoffs are occurring across nearly every division, the company can no longer continue to fund BuzzFeed News as a standalone organization.[1] The company will engage with the News Guild about its cost reduction plans and what this will mean for the affected union members.[2]

Peretti expressed to his employees that he decided to overinvest in BuzzFeed News due to his deep admiration for their work and mission.[3] “This made me slow to accept that the big platforms wouldn’t provide the distribution or financial support required to support premium, free journalism purpose-built for social media.”

Moving forward, BuzzFeed will “concentrate our news efforts in HuffPost, a brand that is profitable with a highly engaged, loyal audience that is less dependent on social platforms,” Peretti said.[4] HuffPost and BuzzFeed Dot Com will have several select roles opened for members of BuzzFeed News, he added.[1] In 2020, BuzzFeed acquired HuffPost from Verizon Media, its parent company.[5]

Peretti acknowledged that he “could have managed these changes better as the CEO of this company and our leadership team could have performed better despite these circumstances.” He explained that BuzzFeed has faced numerous challenges in recent years, including a pandemic, a fading SPAC market that yielded less capital, a tech recession, a tough economy, a declining stock market, a decelerating digital advertising market, and ongoing audience and platform shifts.[5]

BuzzFeed News launched in 2012 and had grown to have more than 100 journalists across the world.[6] The division responsible for reporting news was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize four times.[6] In 2021, the company was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for its international reporting, which revealed the Chinese government’s large-scale detention of Muslims.[7]

BuzzFeed’s shares have plummeted to less than $1 each, down from their initial public offering price of approximately $10.[8] The news of today led to a sharp drop in its value, with a decrease of almost 24%, bringing its share price down to 72 cents by midday. This caused its market capitalization to plummet below $100 million, which is approximately one-third of the amount that BuzzFeed had paid for Complex just two years ago.[9]

The decision to shut down BuzzFeed News and lay off staff has drawn criticism from the media industry and sparked a discussion about the future of digital journalism. Some have argued that the move represents a blow to independent, investigative reporting and raises concerns about the power of social media platforms in shaping the news. Others have pointed out that BuzzFeed’s financial struggles are not unique and reflect broader challenges facing the media industry as a whole.

Despite the difficult news, Peretti expressed confidence in BuzzFeed’s future. “It might not feel this way today, but I am confident the future of digital media is ours for the taking,” he said.[9] “Our industry is hurting and ready to be reborn.[10] Today, we are exerting immense effort as we embark on our journey towards a promising future.[9]

0. “Shuttering of BuzzFeed News Signals Shift to Survival Mode” The Information, 20 Apr. 2023,

1. “BuzzFeed News shuts down as parent company lays off 15% of staffers” New York Post , 20 Apr. 2023,

2. “BuzzFeed News, which famously published Steele dossier, shutting down as company slashes headcount” Fox News, 20 Apr. 2023,

3. “BuzzFeed News shutting down” The Hill, 20 Apr. 2023,

4. “BuzzFeed shuts down news division amid wider layoffs” Yahoo Finance, 20 Apr. 2023,

5. “BuzzFeed News To Shut Down As Digital Media Company Cuts Workforce By 15%” Deadline, 20 Apr. 2023,

6. “BuzzFeed News: Company dismantles newsroom amid layoffs” NPR, 20 Apr. 2023,

7. “BuzzFeed News is shutting down as part of company-wide layoffs” NBC News, 20 Apr. 2023,

8. “BuzzFeed News is shutting down” The Philadelphia Inquirer, 20 Apr. 2023,

9. “BuzzFeed Shuts Its News Arm, Lays Off 15% of Staff As 2 Top Execs Exit” Business Insider, 20 Apr. 2023,

10. “BuzzFeed News, a digital journalism bellwether, is closing” Quartz, 20 Apr. 2023,