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BuzzFeed, vaulted into prominence by posting now-discredited Steele dossier, closes news division

In an email obtained by news outlets, BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti said the move was part of a 15% workforce reduction across a number of teams.

Published: April 20, 2023 11:49am

Updated: April 20, 2023 5:10pm

BuzzFeed on Thursday announced it has shuttered its news division.

In an email obtained by news outlets, BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti said the move was part of a 15% workforce reduction across a number of teams.

"While layoffs are occurring across nearly every division, we’ve determined that the company can no longer continue to fund BuzzFeed News as a standalone organization," he wrote, according to NBC News

BuzzFeed put the opposition research document, known as the Steele dossier, online in unedited form in January 2017, citing the interest in informing the public of the role it  played in the congressional and FBI investigations of the now discredited Russia-Trump 2016 presidential campaign collusion narrative, according to Politico. 

Peretti said he over-invested in BuzzFeed News "because I love their work and mission so much. ... This made me slow to accept that the big platforms wouldn’t provide the distribution or financial support required to support premium, free journalism purpose-built for social media."

He also acknowledge having failed to "hold the company to higher standards for profitability" to give it a buffer for downturns, NBC also reports.

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