The far-left BuzzFeed gutted the far-left HuffPost just three weeks after acquiring the failing site.
During an online meeting Tuesday, BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti announced 47 HuffPost employees would be immediately laid off, which apparently adds up to a whopping 30 percent of the HuffPost staff.
BuzzFeed also laid off everyone and shuttered entirely both HuffPost Canada and HuffPost Quebec. This included killing the websites. One HuffPost Canada employee said no one received notice the ten-year-old site was going to be shut down:
I will be publishing my story I was writing this week about climate change… somehow. Maybe on a blog?
— Samantha Beattie (@Samantha_KB) March 9, 2021
“As of March 9, HuffPost Canada will no longer be publishing content,” an online notice at the now-defunct webpage announced. “Existing content will be maintained as an online archive; however, certain site features were permanently disabled as of March 12.”
The Canadian closures cost 23 people their jobs. That a total of 70 job cuts.
We have been told this decision was made before our organizing effort and is not linked to our unionizing. Still, it is even more devastating in the wake of the hope and optimism we had following a strong union drive. HuffPost Canada consistently punched above our weight and did vital, important journalism in Canada.
Of the 47 employees let go in the U.S., 33 of those were union employees. The HuffPost union is a division of the WGA East, who released this statement:
Today, we learned that 33 of our colleagues — nearly 30% of our unit — will be laid off. 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. We are glad that we are protected by a collective bargaining agreement and that our colleagues will receive severance. Our union will continue fighting to make HuffPost a more just and equitable workplace, including pushing for clear and accountable commitments to hiring and promoting more people of color and for transparency around pay equity.
We never got a fair shot to prove our worth???
Seems to me that HuffPost has had more than 15 years to prove its worth.
Back in 2005, along with Kenneth Lerer and our own Andrew Breitbart (founder of Breitbart News), Peretti was himself one of the HuffPost co-founders, which was then called the Huffington Post — named after another co-founder, Arianna Huffington. In 2011, HuffPost was acquired by AOL. Four years later, Verizon Media acquired HuffPost through its $4.54 billion AOL acquisition.
Regardless, after more than 15 years in business, Peretti claims the site still lost $20 million in 2020.
That kind of loss is especially shocking when you recall 2020 was not only a presidential election year, but the year of the coronavirus. If a news outlet, most especially a left-wing news outlet that is not facing fascist blacklist campaigns against its advertisers, cannot at least break even during a year like that, when can it?
It also doesn’t sound like BuzzFeed’s blood-letting is over. The Guardian reports BuzzFeed warned it could trim operations in the UK and Australia.
You gotta love the imperious and self-righteous BuzzFeed turning into a cold-blooded executioner. All that talk about the vital importance of journalism and a living wage, all the crap BuzzFeed has talked over the years, it meant nothing when it came to making a buck. Union employees whacked. Whole divisions disappeared.
What’s Peretti worth? A couple hundred million dollars? And here he is axing 70 “vitally important” journalism jobs he could easily subsidize out of his own pocket.