Layoffs are a BuzzKill

It is Friday, January 25, 2019. In case you forgot.

Bad news for BuzzFeed

For the second time this week millennial-focused digital media outlet BuzzFeed had bad news to report. On Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that BuzzFeed announced plans to layoff 15% of its staff in an internal memo.

The story came just five days after BuzzFeed published a bombshell report implicating Donald Trump and his attorney Michael Cohen that was quickly rebuked by the office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Over 200 BuzzFeed employees will lose their jobs as a result of the layoffs, which are actually the second round of layoffs at BuzzFeed in the last 14 months.

Which millennial media company are you?

BuzzFeed is part of the new generation of digital media companies, along with Vice, HuffPost, Vox, and Mic that was intended to capture the hearts, minds, and most importantly, dollars of millennials.

BuzzFeed alone collected $500 million in venture funding ($400 million of it from NBCUniversal) -- the company even considered an IPO in 2015.

Getting millennials to take a Disney princess quiz was the easy part; turning those quizzes into cash proved to be far more difficult.

BuzzFeed missed revenue expectations in 2017 and despite making $300 million in 2018 (a 15% year-over-year increase), the company still failed to turn a profit.  

Troubled youths

Feeling the pressure from investors, BuzzFeed’s second round layoffs is an attempt to salvage their bottom line.

They aren’t alone -- Vox gave 5% of its staff the axe at the start of 2018, Vice cut its staff by 15% and set a hiring freeze at the end of last year, and Verizon Media (Huffpost’s parent company) announced layoffs on the same day as BuzzFeed.

Hey, it could be worse -- Mic, which raised $100 million, recently closed up shop and sold for a measly $5 million.
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Brendan Uyeshiro
Brendan Uyeshiro