BuzzFeed investors push CEO Jonah Beretti to close newsroom

BuzzFeed Founder and CEO Jonah Beretti

Manuel Blondo | AOP.Press/Corbis | Getty Images

BuzzFeed The company is shrinking its money-losing news agency, the company announced on Tuesday, explaining broader investor concern that those familiar with the matter are weighing the division into the company.

Several major shareholders have urged BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Beretti to shut down the entire news campaign, with those who asked not to be named because the discussions are private. BuzzFeed declined to comment.

BuzzFeed News, which is part of its content division, has about 100 employees and makes about $ 10 million a year, the two said. The company also has advertising and business divisions. Said Tuesday Its full-year content revenue grew 9% in 2021 to $ 130 million.

One shareholder told CNBC that closing Newsroom could add $ 300 million in market capitalization to the fighting stock. Digital Media went public in December with the acquisition of the Special Purpose vehicle. The stock immediately fell nearly 40% in the first week of trading and did not recover.

BuzzFeed’s stock plunged on Tuesday after the company reported revenue and published the story.

Beretti has been a voice for the importance of BuzzFeed news for many years, “Good for the world, good for business, and good for our corporate culture.” The organization’s newsroom has won numerous awards, including A Pulitzer Prize And George Polk Award.

“This morning we announced plans to accelerate profits for BuzzFeed News, which includes leadership changes, the addition of a dedicated business development team and a planned reduction,” Ferretti said Tuesday. “We will prioritize investing around information about the day’s biggest news, culture and entertainment, celebrities and life on the Internet.”

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read more: BuzzFeed says people spend less time on Facebook

The company has offered voluntary purchases to less than 30 employees, and according to one person familiar with the matter, he was asked not to disclose the name as the decision was personal. Purchases are only available to reporters and editors who cover trials, inequalities, political or scientific and have worked for the company for more than a year. BuzzFeed plans to build Purchase plan for New York’s News Guild in relation to its U.S. staff.

Instead of shutting down BuzzFeed News, Beretti is trying to make the division profitable. He has a ready-made template: he decided It laid off 70 HuffPost employees last year Then Purchasing the company from Verizon Media.

“Although BuzzFeed is a for-profit company, we still do not have the resources to support a two – year loss,” Ferretti said at the time. “The most responsible thing we can do is manage our spending and make sure BuzzFeed – and HuffPost – are set to prosper in the long run. That’s why we have made the difficult decision to make HuffPost profitable quickly.

Someone familiar with the company says that HuffPost is now making a profit.

The editor-in-chief leaves

Ahead of the job cuts, Mark Scoofs, editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed News, told employees he was leaving the company today. Samantha Henick, executive editor of BuzzFeed News’ strategy, will run the newsroom on an interim basis.

Deputy Chief Editor Tom Namago and Managing Editor Ariel Kaminer, Resigning. Namako is Joins NBC News’s digital process As an executive teacher.

At its fourth-quarter revenue release, Buzzfeed’s quarterly revenue increased 18% year-on-year to $ 146 million. Profit rose to $ 41.6 million, up 29% from the same period last year.

Total annual revenue increased 24% year-over-year to $ 398 million. Net income more than doubled last year to $ 25.9 million.

See: Why there is so much volatility in BuzzFeed after going public via SPAC

Disclosure: NBC and CNBC are divisions of NBC Universal.

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