BuzzFeed announced Wednesday that it will lay off roughly 100 U.S. employees.
The media outlet is going to cut its total staff by eight percent, according to The Wall Street Journal. BuzzFeed employs roughly 1,700 people around the world but it will make cuts only in its business and sale departments, TheWSJ reports.
“As our strategy evolves, we need to evolve our organization, too — particularly our business team, which was built to support direct-sold advertising but will need to bring in different, more diverse expertise,” BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti told his staff in a memo. “We’re going to continue to aggressively build out our advertising capabilities, but also accelerate this evolution in 2018.”
The job cuts come after BuzzFeed investors expressed worry at a board meeting where members estimated a $50 to $70 million shortfall at the end of 2017. “Audience behavior changes always outpace advertising shifts in every media industry. Digital is no different,” Ken Lerer, BuzzFeed Chairman of the Board, told TheWSJ.
While the revenue streams of social media platforms like Facebook, Google and Twitter continue growing — especially since total digital ad spending grew roughly 20 percent in 2015 to about $60 billion — journalism organizations have not been the primary beneficiaries of these increases according to a Pew Research June 2016 report.
The newspaper workforce has also shrunk by about 20,000 positions, or 39 percent, in the last 20 years, Pew reported.
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