BuzzFeed faces a massive round of layoffs

Buzzfeed to cut 8% of its US workforce as traffic stagnates over the past year.

November 30, 2017

According to the WSJ, the listicle behemoth is planning to cut a whopping 8% of its US workforce.

The job cuts, which will mostly affect BuzzFeed’s business and sales teams, come less than a month after the media company reported it will miss its yearly revenue targets by 15-20%.

The list has run dry

In recent years, BuzzFeed has been cited as a shining example of digital media success in a volatile landscape.

But despite the apparent success of new verticals like Tasty (a Facebook-centric video series on comfort food recipes) and Buzzfeed Motion Pictures, ComScore data tells us the company’s overall traffic has largely stagnated over the past year.

Now for the “volatile landscape” part…

Media news is rarely good news — but 2017 has been especially brutal for the major players.

In the old-school arena, small newspapers around America are crumbling, Vanity Fair is currently facing a 30% staff cut, and the NYT is facing a $20m shortfall in ad revenue. Yesterday, ESPN also announced a 150-person layoff.

One-time digital titan Mashable is selling for a small fraction of what it was once worth, DNAinfo shut down in the face of union efforts, and Mic had a disastrous pivot to video that tanked its traffic.

The takeaway here: media companies need to find new revenue streams before the falling sky crushes them for good.

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