Buzzfeed announced Tuesday that is joining other major media companies by laying off staff amidst a turbulent economic climate.
In a letter to the 180 employees impacted, about 12% of its workforce, Buzzfeed co-founder and Chief Executive Jonah Peretti claimed that cuts were due to “a combination of worsening macroeconomic conditions” and changes in media consumption habits. Peretti said that layoffs did “not reflect on the good work the affected employees have done over the years to build our company and our brands.”
Buzzfeed’s (BZFD) stocks are down almost 90% from the beginning of the year, sitting at $1.07 a share currently. The company went public late last year, reporting $27 million in losses. As of Dec. 31, 2021, Buzzfeed had 1,522 employees according to a securities filing.
The company, which was founded in 2006 and hallmarked by pop culture quizzes and lists, has since developed a reputable news organization as well and acquired other companies.
“In order for BuzzFeed to weather an economic downturn that I believe will extend well into 2023 we must adapt, invest in our strategy to serve our audience best, and readjust our cost structure,” Peretti said.
Layoffs affected employees in sales, technology, production and content teams for both Buzzfeed and Complex, a media company that Buzzfeed acquired last year. Reportedly, no cuts were made to the company’s other brands, including Tasty Food, BuzzFeed News and Huffington Post.
“I know that there’s nothing I can write here to make this easier for anyone losing their job today,” Peretti told affected staffers. “While I believe in the strategy we’re pursuing, and know it’s necessary to navigate the challenging year ahead, that’s no comfort if you are directly affected.”
The labor cuts come amidst similar moves by major media and news companies. CNN cut hundreds of employees last month citing low ratings and advertising concerns, The Washington Post laid off 10 workers after ending their Sunday magazine, and AMC Networks cut 20% of its staff last week after poor streaming service revenue.