BuzzFeed News is offering takeovers and its top editors have quit

Editor Mark Schoofs, who replaced Ben Smith in 2020, announced his decision to the newsroom on Tuesday. Samantha Henig, BuzzFeed’s vice president of strategy and news operations, will serve as interim editor.
BuzzFeed News is also losing associate editor Tom Namako, who announced tuesday that he will be the new editor of NBC News Digital. Ariel Kaminer, editor for Investigations and Tech, is also quitting.
BuzzFeed went public via PSPC in December. On his first earnings call as a public company, which also took place on Tuesday, CEO Peretti said the company as a whole has seen higher public engagement than ever before.. The media organization also remained profitable for the second consecutive year.

But BuzzFeed’s news division hasn’t been as successful. The changes announced Tuesday are part of what Peretti said in a staff memo are “plans to position BuzzFeed News to thrive in today’s media ecosystem, accelerate its path to profitability, and become a stronger financial contributor to the entire business of BuzzFeed, Inc..”

BuzzFeed Video and Complex Editorial, which BuzzFeed acquired in its IPO, are also downsizing “to better align with audience and industry trends,” according to Matt Mittenthal, vice president of communications at BuzzFeed. In total, about 1.7% of the company’s workforce will be impacted by Tuesday’s announcements, Mittenthal told CNN Business.

Employees of BuzzFeed News’ investigative, policy, inequality and science teams will be able to participate in buyouts, provided they have been with the company for a year or more, according to the memo. Employees have one month to respond to the offer.

It’s been a tumultuous past few months for BuzzFeed. During its IPO, BuzzFeed raised about $16 million through the SPAC deal, which was far less than expected after a large majority of investors pulled out, as The Wall Street Journal reported at the time. ‘era. In March, The New York Times reported that current and former employees had filed formal complaints against BuzzFeed for allegedly missing its stock market debut and preventing employees from selling stock at a higher price.

In order to meet its future financial goals, “BuzzFeed News will need to downsize,” Peretti said in his memo to staff, “and prioritize the areas of coverage our audience connects with the most.” In addition to leadership changes and cuts, there will be a new dedicated business development group in the news arm and a content focus placed on “investments around coverage of the biggest news of the day, culture and entertainment, celebrities and internet life”. “Peretti said during Tuesday’s earnings call.

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