Buzzfeed isn’t looking so hot, and is now looking to trim some fat after it failed to meet revenue targets.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Buzzfeed is going to lay off 15 percent of the company, which could affect some 250 jobs at the listicle-laden site. The WSJ also reported that Buzzfeed is looking to get itself into better shape in order to look a little better on the marketplace for potential mergers with other websites:
The cuts could affect around 250 jobs, the people said. The firm, among the most high-profile digital-native publishers, is also looking to realign its resources to invest more in promising areas of the business like content-licensing and e-commerce, one of the people said.
One impetus for the changes is to get BuzzFeed on the path to profitability and in the proper shape as it scouts out potential merger combinations with other digital media players, the people said.
According to WSJ’s Ben Mullin, the announcement was made in an internal memo by BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti, along with a public statement.
— Ben Mullin (@BenMullin) January 23, 2019
The WSJ reported that many online publishers are struggling to sustain the fast growth in digital advertising sales while meeting the lofty expectations of their investors. Buzzfeed, in particular, receives hundreds of millions of dollars from investors such as Andreessen Horowitz, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, RRE Ventures as well as NBC Universal.
Buzzfeed, however, has had to scale back its revenue targets.
According to the WSJ, the part of the website considered a “drag” on its revenues is the news portion of Buzzfeed, which has been wrapped in controversies both in the past and the present. Recently, Buzzfeed claimed a “bombshell” story that had two people familiar with the Mueller investigation claim they saw proof that President Donald Trump instructed former lawyer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about a deal with Moscow to build a Trump Tower.
Buzzfeed looked incredibly foolish as questions began to arise, and the reporters of the Buzzfeed story admitted they hadn’t seen the evidence themselves. It also came out that one of the story’s authors had a history of making things up.
The entire story ended up being fabricated as Mueller’s team denied any such information exists, but Buzzfeed stood their ground and held that the information was true, further making them look foolish as a news organization.
It’s not clear in what part of Buzzfeed the layoffs will occur, but we can take an educated guess.