BuzzFeed is laying off 12% of its workforce in the face of economic headwinds, the digital media firm announced in an SEC filing on Tuesday.
“Our revenues are being impacted by a combination of worsening macroeconomic conditions, and the ongoing audience shift to vertical video, which is still developing from a monetization standpoint,” founder and CEO Jonah Peretti wrote in a message to those affected.
Peretti continued, “That requires us to lower our costs. Unfortunately, reducing our workforce is an essential part of cost cutting. Staff salaries are the single largest cost at the company.”
As part of its ongoing strategy, the firm is “investing in areas that will drive growth, and shifting away from areas with less audience engagement,” Peretti added.
The firm expects to face restructuring charges ranging from $8 million to $12 million, including the cost of providing worker adjustment and retraining notification (“WARN”) notices to affected employees, along with severance, outplacement services and benefits continuation where applicable.
Variety, which first reported the story, put the total at 180 people.
Peretti also said the company is "completing the integration of Complex Networks. We’ve learned a lot through the first 11 months since Complex joined us, and see clear opportunities to consolidate and centralize some areas where we’ve had duplication.”
BuzzFeed reported a $27 million net loss in the third quarter, versus $3.6 million net loss in the third quarter of 2021. Ad revenues were flat at $50.4 million, but content revenue, including production of custom assets for clients, Instagram takeovers and feature films, grew 45% YoY to $38.4 million.
Peretti stated, “I want all of you, but especially those that are receiving difficult news today, to know that these changes do not reflect on the good work that these employees have done over the years to build our company and our brands.”