BuzzFeed News Halts Local Coverage of UK and Australia

“Some employees” in the UK will be retained, says company

BuzzFeed News plans to stop reporting on Australia and the UK, a spokesperson confirmed to TheWrap Wednesday. Further, Tom Namako has been made deputy editor in chief.

Citing “economic and strategic reasons,” they said BuzzFeed News is “going to focus on news that hits big in the United States during this difficult period.”

“Therefore, we will notify staff in the UK and Australia that we are not planning to cover local news in those countries. We will be consulting with employees on our plans regarding furloughs and stand-downs in these regions,” they continued. “In the UK, we still plan on retaining some employees who are focused on news with a global audience — social news, celebrity, and investigations.”

In America, four non-bargaining unit employees were furloughed but the spokesperson said BuzzFeed News is “open to considering other options in our negotiations, including workshare programs,” provided the options meet savings goals and are legally and logistically workable. BuzzFeed News will be inviting the NewsGuild to help investigate if it’s possible to do “workshare” programs instead of furloughs.

The company’s news division will spend around $10 million more than it takes in this year, dropping that number to $6 million next year.

BuzzFeed is just one of many companies undertaking cost-cutting measures as the coronavirus pandemic ravages the economy. Wednesday, publisher Condé Nast began the process of laying off just under 100 employees and furloughing a similar number.

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