The End of Buzzfeed News

Ben Smith, Semafor:

My old boss and partner Jonah Peretti announced today that he’s shutting down BuzzFeed News, which we built together starting in 2012.


Peretti created BuzzFeed in 2006 while he was working at Huffington Post, as it was then called, which he co-founded. In 2020, BuzzFeed — shaky but still apparently ascendant —acquired HuffPost off the hands of its latest owner, Verizon. (As I recall, they basically paid BuzzFeed to take it off their hands.)

Make no mistake: this is a significant loss. Defying its laughingstock initial reception, Buzzfeed’s news division began breaking one important story after another. From allegations against R. Kelly and Kevin Spacey, to the U.S. government’s failure to correctly account for deaths in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, to bizarre inner-workings of investor-state dispute settlement — for which it was a Pulitzer Prize finalist — to the FinCEN Files, its reporters have broken important stories for years. I will miss it.

By the way, I got many of the above links from the membership page for Buzzfeed News which, as of writing, is still live and accepting subscription purchases.

In a memo to staff, Peretti blames his own failure to adapt to a series of rapid and significant changes as the SPAC bubble burst. This news comes after repeated layoffs and cost-cutting measures. Even so, Peretti is not resigning.