A total 16 full time journalists working at HuffPost in London are at risk of losing their job, as BuzzFeed begins consulting on plans to slim down Huffpost “operations” in the UK and in Australia.
More than half of the 29 HuffPost journalists working in the London office have been informed they face redundancy, the Guardian first reported.
Of the existing news staff, only the site’s separate politics team will be retained, while the video desk is also to be cut. It is understood that the editor-in-chief, Jess Brammar, is among those at risk.
The news follows reports that Buzzfeed is beginning consultations in Australia and the UK to propose “slimming operations” in both places.
A spokesperson for BuzzFeed said: “BuzzFeed has announced today that it’s begun a restructuring of HuffPost in order to break even this year and fast-track its path to profitability.
“As part of these changes, we have begun a consultation process in the UK to propose focusing on local coverage of politics, entertainment and LIFE (HuffPost’s lifestyle vertical) with a smaller team, while exploring new commercial partnerships in the market.”
Earlier this week BuzzFeed laid off 47 Huffpost staff in the United States, the majority of them journalists, and closed down Huffpost’s Canadian operations – reportedly without warning to staff.
The layoffs in the US accounted for nearly 30 per cent of HuffPost’s US-based journalists. US employees reportedly said they were invited to a meeting on Tuesday with password ‘spring is here’, where they were informed of the upcoming redundancies.
The employees were told if they did not receive an email by 1pm that day, their jobs were safe.
In Canada, 23 workers were laid offer as part of a broad restructuring plan for the company.
The Huffpost/BuzzFeed deal was agreed in November last year. The two digital news sites would be able to syndicate content on each other’s platforms and explore joint advertising opportunity under the agreement.
During the virtual meeting, BuzzFeed chief executive Jonah Peretti reportedly said that while BuzzFeed remains profitable, “we don’t have the resources to support another two years of losses”.