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April 30, 2021updated 30 Sep 2022 10:12am

More than a dozen Huffpost UK journalists leave site under Buzzfeed’s news team cull

By Charlotte Tobitt

Originally published 16 April 2021 and updated 30 April

More than a dozen journalists have left Huffpost UK, including editor-in-chief Jess Brammar, in a cull of its news team under new owners Buzzfeed.

Huffpost UK will continue to cover UK politics, entertainment and lifestyle news with a team of about 22 people, it is understood.

At least a dozen Huffpost UK journalists have now left the digital news website, with many departing on 30 April.

They include:

  • Ramzy Alwakeel, head of news
  • Sam Gelder, news editor
  • Léonie Chao-Fong, reporter
  • Angela Hui, Life reporter
  • Adam Bloodworth, features writer
  • John Johnston, senior video producer
  • Becky Barnes, audience editor
  • Charlie Lindlar, commissioning editor
  • Chris York, senior reporter
  • Aasma Day, North of England correspondent
  • Emma Youle, special correspondent
  • Jacqueline Housden, news editor

Press Gazette previously reported that 16 of 29 full-time London-based news staff had been told their jobs were at risk, with four roles thought to be available for those 16.

Brammar announced that she had been offered a reduced editor role running the website, but said “news is at the heart of what Huffpost was for me. So I am bowing out”.

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In a message to staff she said it was time to “step back to let the new leadership get to work”.

[Read more: Huffpost cuts were ‘brutal’, says insider, as rivals provide lesson in making digital pay]

A Huffpost spokesperson told Press Gazette: “We are sorry to see Jess go, but we respect her decision and are deeply grateful for the work she and others affected by our restructuring did to make Huffpost UK what it is today.

“While we will be moving forward with a smaller team, make no mistake: Huffpost UK is here to stay.

“We are incredibly optimistic and excited for the powerful journalism Huffpost UK will publish in the months and years to come.”

The site is now preparing to advertise for three roles that will be “critical to the future of Huffpost UK”: editor-in-chief, deputy audience editor and a senior reporter, trends.

James Martin, HuffPost managing editor for global, said in a message to staff on Friday: “As we come to the end of the difficult consultation period, we are determined to enter a new chapter for Huffpost in the UK, with a structure and strategy that sets us up for long term success.”

On 30 April, the same day many members of staff were made redundant, Huffpost UK was highly commended in the Best Site for News-led Journalism category at The Drum’s Online Media Awards.

At the time of the team’s nomination, Brammar said: “I don’t think there can be many other news teams who have punched above their weight as much as we have in recent years.”

[Read more: Jess Brammar out as Huffpost UK editor-in-chief]

Buzzfeed announced plans to cut Huffpost in the UK, US, Canada and Australia three weeks after completing the acquisition of its former online rival.

The company has said the restructures would help it “break even this year and fast-track its path to profitability”.

The UK team is expected to explore “new commercial partnerships in the market”.

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