Buzzfeed will likely break even for the first time since 2014 after implementing heavy cost cuts amid the global pandemic.
Buzzfeed’s Chief Executive Jonah Peretti reported the news in a staff-wide video call earlier in October, according to The Wall Street Journal. The call was about improving diversity, and Peretti added that Buzzfeed appears to be on track to break even.
The company struggled with costs in 2020 as COVID-19 affected multiple organizations, many within the media realm. Buzzfeed furloughed, reduced pay and laid off staffers amid $30 million in cuts in an attempt “to stabilize the company’s finances,” the WSJ reported, citing anonymous individuals. (RELATED: Buzzfeed To Furlough Over 60 Employees Without Pay Amid Coronavirus)
Media companies have, in part, struggled during the pandemic because of a hit in advertising. The online media company’s board reportedly became frustrated in recent years as Buzzfeed’s growth slowed and losses continued, the WSJ reported.
—@peretti: “For a long time, we ran BuzzFeed News with exuberance but without discipline. Now we are operating with both discipline and exuberance. It was a painful process, but we are focused on making it break even or lose just a small amount.” https://t.co/waI3DIY9tF
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) October 26, 2020
Buzzfeed has reduced costs by up to $80 million over just two years, the WSJ added.
“In the second quarter we were staring at the abyss, but while there is still a lot of uncertainty, we saw a strong rebound in the third quarter and now things are looking pretty good,” Peretti told the WSJ during a discussion on advertising money. “It was a tough, scary year.”
“For a long time, we ran BuzzFeed News with exuberance but without discipline,” Peretti added. “Now we are operating with both discipline and exuberance. It was a painful process, but we are focused on making it break even or lose just a small amount.”