Buzz Media Cuts 50 Staffers, Ups User Engagement
Positioned as a restructuring effort, pop-culture blog network Buzz Media plans to cut about a fifth of its workforce.
When all is said and done, the 250-person publisher could cut up to 50 employees, CEO Steve Hansen announced on Friday.
“We need to invest in products and technology,” Hansen said Friday. Yet, Hansen said the cuts were being made across the board.
Buzz Media has shown growth over the past year. In 2012, the publisher of properties such as Stereogum, Celebuzz and The Frisky took in about $40 million in revenue. This year, it is on track to do about $50 million, according to Hansen.
That said, Hansen admitted that the company could do a better job in the key areas of audience engagement, ad support and site infrastructure.
In particular, “user engagement is a big area of focus for us,” Hansen admitted. “When you compare us to the competitive set, we’re not bad, but we can do far better.”
Founded in 2005 as Buzznet, Buzz Media has historically combined professional editorial teams with a heavy dose of reader contributions. This approach is still used to cost-effectively engage audiences across some 40 branded properties.
Last December, Hansen replaced longtime CEO Tyler Goldman, who then became executive chairman of the company.
In a memo to employees on Friday, Hansen explained: “The world that we live in is getting more competitive by the day and doing a much better job for our audience, advertisers and editors is essential … There is a lot that is right at Buzz, but much that still needs to change.”
Looking ahead, Hansen predicted that Buzz Media would be back to 250 employees before the end of the year.