BuzzFeed Lays Off 50 After Pandemic Hurts Lucrative Ad Deals

BuzzFeed Inc. laid off 50 of the 74 employees who were furloughed this spring as the digital media company struggles to replace lost revenue during the pandemic.

The cuts include 10 employees in BuzzFeed’s news division, as well as staff involved with its studio, sales and administration, the company said.

BuzzFeed lost some custom advertising deals in areas like hospitality and travel at the start of the pandemic, costing the company tens of millions of dollars in revenue. In addition, Inc. paused some affiliate deals. That meant that when BuzzFeed readers bought a beauty product via the site, for instance, the media company was no longer getting a cut of the sale.

The 50 jobs eliminated represent 5.7% of BuzzFeed’s U.S. staff. The New York-based company is covering health insurance through Sept. 30 for the former employees.

BuzzFeed’s efforts to reduce costs have also included pay cuts through the end of the year and breaking real estate leases in certain locations. The measures are expected to keep the company’s losses for the year under $20 million. At the start of the year, the company expected to turn a profit of about $30 million.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Gerry Smith in New York at [email protected]

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Nick Turner at [email protected]


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