BuzzFeed Hits Brakes: Announces Layoffs, Ad Restructuring

BuzzFeed, long the darling of native digital publishing models, is hitting its brakes following a weakening of advertising demand. The company said it is laying off about 100 employees in the U.S. — less than 10% of its global workforce — and restructuring its advertising sales organization “amid a tough digital media market.”

In an email to the company’s staff, CEO Jonah Peretti announced Greg Coleman is stepping down as BuzzFeed’s president and would take on an advisory role.

BuzzFeed News Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith said cuts will not affect BuzzFeed’s U.S. news team directly.

The company attributed the attrition to a “tough time” in the broader digital media marketplace, an assertion that doesn’t necessarily ring true based on respected industry tracking sources.

While digital isn’t expanding at the exponential rates it experienced early in its evolution, it is still experiencing healthy double-digit rates of expansion.

According to a revised 2017 forecast released this week by Pivotal Research Group analyst Brian Wieser, digital ad spending expanded 21% in the third quarter.
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