BuzzFeed will no longer cover local news and politics in the UK and Australia. It is shutting down the two BuzzFeed Newsoperations, citing "economic and strategic reasons."
The hard news BuzzFeed News division is separate from the softer, entertainment-focused BuzzFeed flagship site.
“We are going to focus on news that hits big in the United States during this difficult period,” a BuzzFeed spokesperson told multiple media outlets.
The decision comes less than two months after the company cut staffers’ pay by 5% to 25%, to deal with the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic on the industry.
The London office was set up in 2013. About 10 U.K. employees have been furloughed until the end of June and will likely not return to work, according to the Press Gazette. Eleven U.K. staffers will remain in total, who focus on social news, celebrity and investigations.
Four in Australia were furloughed.
BuzzFeed News UK, which also oversees the company's operations in Germany, Brazil, Japan, Mexico and India, experienced a loss of about $12.3 million (£9.4 million) in 2018.
BuzzFeed’s losses in its international business quadrupled that year.
The company closed its operations in France in December 2018 and in Spain in January 2019.In the U.S., BuzzFeed named Mark Schoofs its next editor in chief last week, succeeding Ben Smith, who left for The New York Times earlier this year. Schoofs formed the outlet’s investigations team.