BuzzFeed has laid off 47 employees of Huffington Post in the United States, three weeks after it acquired the company from Verizon Media, as part of "a restructuring effort aimed at stemming financial losses". Simultaneously, BuzzFeed said it was shutting down HuffPost Canada entirely later this month.
Huffington Post's executive editor Hillary Frey and executive editor (international) Louise Roug would be "departing", the company said.
BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti told staffers that the decision was made in order to "fast-track" HuffPost's "path to profitability". HuffPost's losses in 2020 totaled around $20 million, Peretti said, adding: "Though BuzzFeed is a profitable company, we don’t have the resources to support another two years of losses."
The Guardian reported that the layoffs constitute nearly 30 percent of HuffPost's US-based journalists.
Journalist Laura Bassett tweeted that HuffPost employees were "invited to a meeting" where they were told 47 people would be laid off.
Laid-off employees also posted on Twitter to confirm the news.
BuzzFeed's decision was slammed by the HuffPost Union, which said: "We are devastated and infuriated, particularly after an exhausting year of covering a pandemic and working from home. This is also happening less than a month after HuffPost was acquired by BuzzFeed. We never got a fair shot to prove our worth. These layoffs reiterate the importance of forming a union and advocating for our colleagues."