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February 19, 2019

Buzzfeed UK staff announce departures from news website weeks after cuts to workforce revealed

By James Walker

Four Buzzfeed UK staff have revealed they are stepping down as the digital publisher reduces its global workforce by 15 per cent, with more than half the UK editorial team affected by job cuts.

News editor Patrick Smith, reporter Laura Silver and TV editor Scott Bryan have all taken to Twitter today to announce their departures.

Buzzfeed’s own UK media reporter revealed last month that the UK editorial team would be cut from 37 to 20 staff, with its “Buzz” team, which covers pop culture and viral content, hit hardest.

Buzzfeed UK, which is a subsidiary of the US company, said it would not be able to comment on job cuts until its consultation period ends on 7 March. It has said the number of layoffs is not final.

In a tweet about his departure from Buzzfeed, Bryan said: “I’m leaving Buzzfeed. I’ve loved it so very much, but today is my last day. I still want to write about TV and entertainment. I love radio too.”

He later added: “I have so many people to thank, but if I did thank them all this thread would be so annoying, so for now: thank you for reading.”

News editor Smith said: “Like many others, I’m leaving Buzzfeed News for pastures new. It’s been great, I’m proud of what we did.”

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Reporter Silver said: “I am sorry to say that I am leaving Buzzfeed after four great years as a reporter.

“But, I’m excited to say I am now available for freelance commissions and other such gainful employment, so please get in touch!”

Another Buzzfeed staff writer, Jasmin Kaur, announced she would also be leaving. She said: “This isn’t how I planned to start my year but I’m excited for whatever comes next!”

Buzzfeed chief executive Jonah Peretti said the company would cut 15 per cent of its staff globally to “reduce our costs and improve our operating model… without ever needing to raise funding again”.

Buzzfeed UK’s latest financial figures revealed it made a pre-tax loss of £1.9m on turnover of £33.4m in 2017, with a total loss of £2.3m for the year.

The news website saw an exodus of journalists at the beginning of last year, including several reports and editors, following an earlier round of job cuts.

Picture: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

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