BuzzFeed reorganises ad sales division as it cuts 8% of workforce

Jonathan Leibson

The Journal reported earlier this month that BuzzFeed - one of the most high-profile digital media operations which has been expanding globally - had delayed plans for a public share offering and would miss its revenue target of United States dollars 350 million by 15 to 20 per cent.

Buzzfeed is chopping 8 percent of its workforce amid reports that shortfalls in revenue are delaying the news site's bid to take itself public.

All of the staff cuts in the USA will come from the business and sales side of the company, The Wall Street Journal reports, though some editorial staffers will be impacted in the United Kingdom. BuzzFeed employs about 1,700 people world-wide.

Buzzfeed's United Kingdom media reporter, Mark di Stefano, said on Twitter US editor Ben Smith had said 20 staff will be let go at its London office.

"As our strategy evolves, we need to evolve our organization, too - particularly our Business team, which was built to support direct sold advertising but will need to bring in different, more diverse expertise to support these new lines of business", Peretti wrote.

Indeed, earlier this year, the outlet also announced that it would begin programmatic advertising after scoffing at banner ads for years, a sign that many media watchers said signaled the company was having difficulty raising revenue.

While spending on digital advertising is still growing, competition for those dollars is increasing.

Native ads are content created for advertisers that look similar to BuzzFeed's popular, often snarky videos, lists and quizzes.

The digital news and entertainment outlet Buzzfeed has announced job cuts across its commercial and editorial operations after missing revenue targets. A pioneer of the digital media world, Coleman helped drive sales at some of the earliest online success stories with stints at Yahoo, AOL, the Huffington Post and ad tech firm Criteo.

However, Peretti added that it would continue to "aggressively build out our advertising capabilities, but also accelerate this evolution in 2018".

The cuts will be focused on BuzzFeed's sales and marketing side in the U.S, with some layoffs hitting staffers in the U.K.'s news and business teams.

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