April 21, 2023

R.I.P. BuzzFeed News (2011-2023)

Frankie Pike

BuzzFeed’s chief executive Jonah Peretti announced Thursday that BuzzFeed will be shutting down BuzzFeed News and laying off 15 percent of its staff.

BuzzFeed became an Internet sensation in a remarkably short amount of time. It is known for its quizzes, memes, and coverage of online culture. It’s hard to imagine the 2010s without BuzzFeed.

BuzzFeed News was BuzzFeed’s attempt at investigative journalism and breaking news.

“While layoffs are occurring across nearly every division, we’ve determined that the company can no longer continue to fund BuzzFeed News as a standalone organization,” Peretti told staffers, according to CNN.

BuzzFeed’s January announcement that it would begin using artificial intelligence to create content made its stock spike more than 150 percent. Since then, the stock has tanked.

Other news organizations are also facing struggles and have for some time. A March 2022 survey conducted among journalists in the U.S. found that 72 percent of respondents used negative words like “struggling” or “chaos” to depict the current state of the news industry. A mere two percent described the industry as “resilient” or “surviving.”

With massive layoffs plaguing the industry since 2000, it’s not hard to understand why.

Statistic: Number of job losses in the media industry in the United States from 2000 to 2022 | Statista

In honor of BuzzFeed News, here are our favorite BuzzFeed moments.

Purpose-Driven Winners and Losers

Every month, Ad Age talks with Thomas Kolster, founder and creative director at Copenhagen-based Goodvertising Agency, about the best and worst purpose marketing.

The big winners of the month were Heinz, Busch Light, Bolt, and Nescafe. The losers were Vanish, United Airlines, and Dove.

To put it simply, the winners (or “hits”—as Ad Age calls them) won because they built connections with consumers who are looking for companies that align with their values. The losers lost because they were inauthentic or a bad brand fit.

Other news

  • Vice Media has been looking to sell itself for several months. If it fails, the company may shut down Vice World News, according to The Wall Street Journal.
  • Insider is laying off 10 percent of its team, according to a memo.
  • Some CEOs are getting called out for being assholes (again).

That’s all for this week’s Marketing Roundup. Check back in next Friday for more news. And subscribe to our newsletter below for additional updates.