BuzzFeed plans more cuts to news division as top editor departs
The top editor at BuzzFeed News has resigned as the digital-media company cuts staff and projects it will lose as much as $20 million this quarter.
Mark Schoofs, who had been editor in chief since 2020, told staff that he is leaving the company. Samantha Henig, the news division’s executive editor of strategy, will replace him on an interim basis.
BuzzFeed is also making cuts to its video and editorial teams at Complex Networks, a youth-focused media company it acquired in June. The cuts, which amount to 1.7% of the company’s total workforce, were first reported by the website the Information.
BuzzFeed News employees walk out on Thursday to push for higher wages as they continue to negotiate a contract.
The changes came as BuzzFeed announced its first earnings as a public company Tuesday. The company reported that fourth-quarter revenue increased 18% due to growth in advertising and content sales.
But it expects first-quarter sales will decline “by a low single-digit percentage” and the adjusted loss before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization this quarter will be in the range of $15 million to $20 million.
On a conference call with analysts, BuzzFeed Chief Executive Jonah Peretti said the company is committed to making BuzzFeed News a stronger financial contributor to the larger business.
“We will prioritize investments around coverage of the biggest news of the day, culture and entertainment, celebrity, and life on the internet,” he said.
BuzzFeed’s news division, which was started in 2011, won a Pulitzer Prize last year for exposing China’s infrastructure for detaining hundreds of thousands of Muslims in its Xinjiang region.
The unit has lost money for years and underwent a series of job cuts as the company tried to stem financial losses ahead of going public.
The New York-based company made its stock market debut in December through a merger with a blank-check company, also known as a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC.
Its arrival on Wall Street has been off to a rocky start. BuzzFeed shares fell on their first day of trading and are down 4% this year. The stock rose 6.46%, or 32 cents, on Tuesday to $5.27.
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