The fallout in digital media continues, as more companies are downsizing. Today word leaked out that BuzzFeed would lay off 15% percent of its workforce, the equivalent of 250 jobs. That would be the largest layoff in the company’s history—in 2017 it laid off 8% of its workforce. In a memo, BuzzFeed’s CEO Jonah Peretti said the layoffs were aimed at getting the company to become profitable this year. And according to the memo, obtained by the New York Times, the layoffs would be hitting the news division, which had previously been spared any significant reductions.
The Journal also reported that Verizon would lay off 7% of the staff from Verizon Media Group, which includes AOL and Yahoo. Those cuts amount to about 800 jobs from a media division that until recently was known as Oath. Both BuzzFeed and the Verizon Media Group are dependent on advertising, which has been squeezed as Facebook, Google and Amazon soak up more of the market. BuzzFeed has been focusing more on alternate revenue streams like content licensing and e-commerce. But those revenue sources can’t yet support the organization as a whole.
If BuzzFeed can become profitable this year it might be more appealing again as an acquisition target, albeit at a much lower value than the $1.7 billion it last raised at.