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BuzzFeed to ‘reorient’ itself, sheds 15% of its workforce

BuzzFeed is reported to lay off approximately 15% of its workforce as it looks to “reorient itself”, according to Wall Street Journal. The article said that this comes as the company aims to reorganise its resources, to focus more on areas such as content licensing and e-commerce.

WSJ‘s sources also said in the article that BuzzFeed is looking for potential merger combinations with digital media players. The sources also revealed that BuzzFeed raised over US$500 million in its latest funding.

In a memo seen by WSJ, BuzzFeed chief executive Jonah Peretti said to staff that the company will be undergoing a restructure to reduce costs and improve its operating model. He added that revenue growth alone will not suffice for the company in the long term. Peretti also said that the company aims to work towards not needing to raise more funding.

Marketing has reached out to Buzzfeed for comment.

In July last year, BuzzFeed flaunted a new design for its news portal “BuzzFeed News”. The new site looked very much like a newspaper with a black and white colour palette. The pieces on the “BuzzFeed News” website previously were more on the global political and cultural issues.

According to Adweek, the topics curated by editors are based on audience data on what they are interested on. The article adds that while the new news site will not have sponsored ads, it will be using programmatic advertising, “including exploring brands doing full-page takeovers.”

Katie Rayford, manager of communications, BuzzFeed News said that it received feedback from its audience and partners that the mix of content was “confusing” in the older BuzzFeed webpage. This then led to the idea of coming up with a “distinct” brand called BuzzFeed News and an updated homepage design.

Meanwhile, towards the end of 2016, BuzzFeed and NBCUniversal inked a massive deal. NBCUniversal made an additional US$200 million investment to expand the strategic partnership between the two companies and to fund the growth of BuzzFeed’s industry leading news and entertainment network.

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