The news website BuzzFeed laid off 47 HuffPost workers in the United States, most of them journalists, less than a month after buying the rival company.
Jonah Peretti, CEO of BuzzFeed, announced the move at a virtual staff meeting on Tuesday, as the company also warned it could cut operations in the UK and Australia.
Job cuts account for nearly 30% of HuffPost journalists in the US, at a time when most media outlets across the country are downsizing or facing shutdown.
At the meeting, whose employees said they had to use the password “spr! NgisH3r3 ”to enter, Peretti said the Canadian edition of HuffPost will be shut down entirely, in an effort to halt two years of financial losses.
In a declaration the HuffPost union said 33 members were fired.
“We are devastated and enraged, particularly after a grueling year of covering a pandemic and working from home,” the union said.
Noting that the layoffs occurred shortly after the BuzzFeed deal, he added: “We never had a fair chance to prove our worth.”
A BuzzFeed spokesperson said that in addition to the job cuts in the United States and the closure of Canada, HuffPost will “move away from local coverage on HuffPost Australia.”
“We will begin consultations in Australia and the UK to propose slimming operations in both locations,” the spokesperson said.
At Tuesday’s meeting, Peretti told HuffPost staff that while BuzzFeed remains profitable, “we don’t have the resources to withstand another two years of losses.”
The news site Reported defector HuffPost staff were informed of the meeting at 10 am local time on the East Coast of the United States. Once there, Peretti told employees that if they “don’t get an email” before 1:00 pm. M. ET, your jobs are safe.
HuffPost Canada was immediately shut down, even before website staff were informed, according to the site’s lead reporter, Samantha Beattie.
Beattie posted an image of the closing message posted on HuffPost Canada’s website and said that employees had not been informed in advance.
“We want to make sure the home page remains a top destination on the Internet,” Peretti said in announcing the HuffPost cuts.
“We also want to maintain high traffic, preserve your most powerful journalism, lean more on politics and breaking news, and build a stronger business for affiliate revenue and shopping content.”
The Huffington Post, as it was originally called, was founded by business and media figure and author Arianna Huffington in 2005 and became a go-to destination for clickable content in the days before. that Twitter and Facebook began to dominate news sources. It was sold to AOL for $ 315 million in 2011, and Verizon took ownership of the news outlet when bought AOL in 2015.
Peretti was CTO at the Huffington Post before launching BuzzFeed, which became a powerful website famous for its “lists” and quizzes before developing a widely praised news division.
The company has come under fire for firing a large number of journalists of late, including 43 in one go. in january 2019, when BuzzFeed also closed its entire national office.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism