Buzzfeed sheds further 20 staff in continued move towards programmatic

Buzzfeed is reportedly laying off a further 20 of its staff in part of a reorganisation of its business, as it looks to recover from a loss-making 2017.

The announcement follows the publisher severing 100 employees last year - or 6% of its workforce - when it reported a £3.3m loss, owed in large part to its move away from native advertising.

The company will in turn be hiring a further 45 employees to its business team equipped with the necessary skills and “diverse expertise” needed to assist the publisher’s move into new revenue streams, levering off dependency on Facebook akin to many large publishers, with news feed algorithm changes rendering content distribution on the platform less effective.

‘New blood’

The news of staffing cuts was delivered to employees in a memo from Buzzfeed’s CRO, Lee Brown, who touched on both the new hires and losses as a result of the company’s operational changes set to occur within the next two weeks.

“These changes will involve bringing in new blood - we’ve opened more than 45 new roles across creative, strategic planning, and pricing, as well as new growth areas such as business development and programmatic,” said Brown.

“In a handful of cases, the changes we’re making will, unfortunately, result in some roles being eliminated”, said Brown, adding that the company would make efforts to relocate these employees into the new vacancies where possible.

In the same memo, Brown thanked staff for what had been a “strong Q1 and what looks like an even stronger Q2 to date”, which CEO Jonah Peretti attributed to Buzzfeed’s growing e-commerce business - including partnerships among its food brand Tasty - and increasing adoption of programmatic display.

According to Peretti, the new direction is contributing to “strong double-digit growth” this year.

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