BuzzFeed lays off 45 from HuffPost newsroom, will shut down HuffPost Canada
BuzzFeed is laying off 45 reporters, editors and producers from the newly acquired HuffPost and shutting down HuffPost Canada under a restructuring plan.
Hillary Frey, the website’s executive editor, and international executive editor Louise Roug also resigned over the layoffs, BuzzFeed said Tuesday.
The dismissals come just three weeks after BuzzFeed acquired HuffPost, the media outlet founded in 2005 as the Huffington Post, from Verizon Media.
“We never got a fair shot to prove our worth,” the HuffPost union said in a statement.
According to excerpts released by the company, BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti told employees at a meeting that “we will begin to restructure HuffPost today to fast-track its path to profitability. Unfortunately, that includes staff reductions, and a number of talented colleagues will be laid off over the next few days.”
Peretti said that “losses last year exceeded $20 [million], and would be similar this year without intervention. Though BuzzFeed is a profitable company, we don’t have the resources to support another two years of losses.”
The union said the layoffs included nearly 30% of its membership.
“We are devastated and infuriated, particularly after an exhausting year of covering a pandemic and working from home,” the union’s statement said.
Many of the laid-off employees were on social media lamenting losing their jobs after stints of many years and objecting to the way they were told, saying that the password for entering the remote meeting was a variation of “spring is here,” making them blindsided by what would come later.
Reporter Rowaida Abdelaziz called it “an absolute cruel and brutal day at HuffPost. I am speechless.”
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