BuzzFeed has just announced that it will be shutting down its news division. Following the decision, BuzzFeed saw its shares take a nosedive of 20% to 75 cents.
The New York-based media company is said to lay off 15% of its workforce, which includes as many as 180 employees in its business, content, tech and administration divisions. The company, which has gained a renowned reputation for its quirky lists, quizzes, cooking videos and unique way of covering current news, will now rely on its HuffPost unit as its primary news division.
According to Reuters, at its peak, “BuzzFeed’s news division was once viewed as a serious challenger to legacy media companies and won a Pulitzer Prize in 2021 for coverage of China’s mass detention of Muslims.” Unfortunately, BuzzFeed has ultimately succumbed to the digital-first business model challenges. On the same day, The Wall Street Journal also reported that Vice Media Inc. is thinking of closing its Vice World News unit as well, if they are unable to find a buyer within the next few weeks.
BuzzFeed’s news unit was founded in 2011. Similar to other digital media outlets, its downfall was partially due to its overreliance on advertising that soon shifted over to TikTok and other social media platforms. The announcement comes months after BuzzFeed already cut 12% of its staff in December 2022. Since its debut in 2006, BuzzFeed shares have lost 93% of its value.
In case you missed it, a Twilight series is in early development.