BuzzFeed Nasdaq Listing Day in December 2021
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BuzzFeed News shutting down as part of a 15% company reduction

After more than a decade, BuzzFeed News is shutting its laptops for good.

BuzzFeed’s online investigative news division, BuzzFeed News, is shutting down for good. The death of the award-winning department signals the end of an era in internet news.

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Per CNN, chief executive and founder Jonah Peretti announced that the site would be shutting down indefinitely as of April 20. It’s not the first time that parent company BuzzFeed has been forced to downsize its subsidiaries due to poor financial return; the first round of layoffs came in January of 2019, when the company released 15% of its staff, followed by the shuttering of its Australian and U.K. offices nearly a year later. The losses have continued to spiral, forcing the company to cut staff members in every one of its branches, and to permanently close it’s BuzzFeed News division.  

Piretti’s memo details the hardships for the company, “a pandemic, a fading SPAC market that yielded less capital, a tech recession, a tough economy, a declining stock market, a decelerating digital advertising market and ongoing audience and platform shifts.”

He went on to write that, “I could have managed these changes better as the CEO of this company and our leadership team could have performed better despite these circumstances.”

BuzzFeed News officially started in 2011 as an offshoot of BuzzFeed, a viral news tracking site. The site focused on investigative reporting and through its tenure faced a number of controversies head on, including the sexual misconduct accusations against actor Kevin Spacey, the leaked Milo Yiannopoulos emails that exposed Breitbart News’ consistent use of White supremacist and outright neo-Nazi contributors, and the explosive 2020 expose on the horrendous treatment of minority Muslims in Chinese internment camps, where Uyghurs were subjected to forced sterilization and other abuses. The site was one of the leading competitors in the early 2010s, easily traversing the social media boom producing viral content and quizzes. In 2014 Disney even considered purchasing the company, with was valued at around $1bn. The stock has since collapsed, with the company now valued at somewhere around $100m.

The liquidation of the news division extends beyond the investigative journalists and staff writers of the newsroom. CRO Edgar Hernandez and COO Christian Baesler are also exiting the company, though it sounds as though the executives are leaving on their own terms.

 A memo from Peretti, released by New York Times journalist Ben Mullins, detailed that layoffs would be occurring across the board, but that the News division was beyond intervention since, “big platforms wouldn’t provide the distribution or financial support required to support premium, free journalism purpose-built for social media.”

Peretti expressed his distress at the situation, saying the decision was the product of years of poor financial return, but that he was blind to the reality of the situation “because I love their work and mission so much.”

BuzzFeed News may be closing permanently, but the other subsidiaries should continue with the careful reductions in spending. Huffpost will now serve as the company’s primary news outlet, while its other branches — Tasty, First we Feast, Complex, and BuzzFeed — will undergo rigorous streamlining as the company gets its finances in check. Starting Monday, the company will be meeting with its other subsidiaries to begin discussion on how it will move forward.

This is a developing story and will be updated.


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Ash Martinez
Ash has been obsessed with Star Wars and video games since she was old enough to hold a lightsaber. It’s with great delight that she now utilizes this deep lore professionally as a Freelance Writer for We Got This Covered. Leaning on her Game Design degree from Bradley University, she brings a technical edge to her articles on the latest video games. When not writing, she can be found aggressively populating virtual worlds with trees.