BuzzFeed News Closure Unites Journalists in Disgust: ‘The Hardworking Staffers Pay the Price, as Always’

In addition to the shuttering, BuzzFeed Inc. announced 15% of its workforce would be laid off across verticals

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Journalists are speaking out online after BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti announced Thursday that he will be shuttering BuzzFeed News in addition to rolling out 15% workforce layoffs across other verticals.

“Horrible: BuzzFeed News is shutting down,” tweeted Philip Lewis, senior editor at Huffington Post, a subsidiary of Buzzfeed. Lewis’ response is just one of the slew of reactions from journalists. 

The Pulitzer Prize-winning digital news site that started as an internet-culture blog grew to become just as well-known for hard-hitting news coverage and investigative reporting. Peretti made the announcement via a staff memo that the news vertical of BuzzFeed Inc. would be closing up shop.

“I made the decision to overinvest in BuzzFeed News because I love their work and mission so much,” Peretti said. “This made me slow to accept that the big platforms wouldn’t provide the distribution or financial support required to support premium, free journalism purpose-built for social media.”

“What really sucks is that the people whose bad decisions eventually killed BFN simply coast on, while the hardworking staffers pay the price, as always,” wrote Rosie Gray, a former BuzzFeed journalist, who also shared Peretti’s memo. “But I know life’s not fair.”

“We will concentrate our news efforts in HuffPost, a brand that is profitable with a highly engaged, loyal audience that is less dependent on social platforms,” Peretti said in the memo. 

“I could have managed these changes better,” Peretti went on. “Our job is to adapt, change, improve and perform despite the challenges in the world. We can and will do better.”

“There’s plenty of blame to go around in the C-suites of BuzzFeed and Insider, which are laying off journalists while dabbling with AI,” wrote Los Angeles Times reporter Matt Pearce. “But we are all playing a rigged game inside the platforms’ casino. Digital journalism has to be commercially rational.”

Benjamin Freed, managing editor at State Scoop, tweeted that he believes the result of BuzzFeed News ending is tied to Peretti’s financial business moves.

Los Angeles Times managing editor Sara Yasin reminisced about her time at BuzzFeed News and shared her condolences with its now laid off staff.

BuzzFeed Inc.’s other brands,, Complex Networks, Tasty and HuffPost, will continue on except for BuzzFeed News, TheWrap confirmed.