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BuzzFeed will cut 15% of its workforce



BuzzFeed plans to release about 15 percent of its workforce, according to people familiar with the situation, as the company aims to reorient itself to a shifting digital media landscape.

The cut could affect about 250 jobs, – people said. The company, among the most popular digital publishers, also seeks to reorient its resources to invest more in promising business areas, such as content licensing and e-commerce, one of the people said. the changes are to get BuzzFeed on the path to profitability and in the right shape as it reveals potential combinations of mergers with other digital media players, people say.

Another engine of redundancies is to help the company avoid the money again, one of the people said. BuzzFeed has collected about $ 500 million and is estimated at about $ 1

.7 billion since the last round of funding in 2016.

Investors include

Comcast
Corp.

NBCUniversal – who has invested $ 400 million – Andreez Horowitz, Lehrer Hype Ventures, new business associations, RRE Ventures and Hearst Ventures.

Online publishers struggle to maintain rapid growth in digital ad sales and meet the high expectations of their investors as they face the dominance of technical titans like

alphabet
Inc.

Google and

Facebook
Inc.

Many businesses are now considering deals with competitors to reach the scale they think they need to compete with. There are signs of growing pressure in the industry. Online publisher Mic has recently agreed to sell to a women-focused publisher, Bustle Digital Group, for about $ 5 million. Refinery 29, a lifestyle focused publisher that targets millennial women, has released 10% of its workforce last fall.

BuzzFeed, on the other hand, has sometimes struggled to meet his ambitious revenue targets and has reduced his expectations. In 2018, the company achieved its target of $ 300 million in revenue, people familiar with the situation said.

"Unfortunately, revenue growth alone is not enough to be successful in the long run. The restructuring we are undertaking will reduce our costs and improve our operating model so that we can thrive and control our own destiny without having to raise funds again, "BuzzFeed CEO Jonas Pereti said in a message to employees confirming the redundancies.] 19659005] Launched in 2006, BuzzFeed was among the leaders of a group of digital outsiders who were deft with soya and a wave of venture capital investment to become magnets for a digital audience, a pioneer in "native advertising," the content for advertisers, which aims to mimic the look of editorial content, but the growth of this business

BuzzFeed is primarily concerned with the creation of carefree content, popular among younger social media users, but has also thrown zn in its news unit, paying special attention to its political coverage. In 2018, the company is a Pulitzer Prize winner for international stories about a campaign to murder critics of Russian President Vladimir Putin in the UK and elsewhere. cause some contradictions. Still, Mr. Pereti has long stood in the importance of the news department as an important part of his mission and something that distinguishes the site. Last year, BuzzFeed launched a membership model for news, attracting donations from readers.

Last week, BuzzFeed News has been subject to intense scrutiny by the media and political observers after it publishes a story claiming President Trump has directed his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, to lie to Congress on the talks to build of a building in Moscow.

Speaker of Special Adviser Robert Muellet made the rare step to publicly challenge BuzzFeed reports by issuing a statement calling for the aspects of the report to be "inaccurate." BuzzFeed said it was able to report. In 1967, the company cut back about 100 employees after dropping its target revenue of approximately $ 350 million by 15% to 20%. The Miss made the company put plans for the initial public offering of waiting. In 2016, the company earned $ 250 million in revenue.

The redundancies in 2017 are mostly from the business point of view of the company. Since then, BuzzFeed has shut down its operations in France and has unplugged its own podcast production team.

Write to Lucas I. Alpert at lukas.alpert@wsj.com and Benjamin Mullin at Benjamin.Mullin@wsj.com


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