Tag Archives: Ben Smith

Report: Buzzfeed to lay off over 200 employees next week

As someone on Twitter said: “They are probably just laying off non-essential personnel, like fact-checkers.”

From Hollywood Reporter: BuzzFeed is laying off 15 percent of its workforce, about 215 people, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter.

CEO Jonah Peretti on Wednesday sent a memo to staffers with the subject line “Difficult Changes” in which he explained that efforts to diversify revenue weren’t enough to help the company achieve profitability.

“Unfortunately, revenue growth by itself isn’t enough to be successful in the long run,” he wrote. “The restructuring we are undertaking will reduce our costs and improve our operating model so we can thrive and control our destiny, without ever need to raise funding again.”

The cuts, expected to be company-wide, are set to take place next week. The staff reductions will give BuzzFeed a faster path to profitability, a spokesperson said.

“Rumors started flying” about the layoffs on Tuesday in the company’s New York and Washington, D.C.-based offices. “Lots of people are talking about it,” said an employee on the basis of anonymity. About 1,450 staffers work at BuzzFeed.

In the memo, Peretti noted that he’s “never thought about my job as ‘just business.’ I care about the people at BuzzFeed more than anything other than my family. This will be a tough week for all of us and I realize it will be much worse for the people losing their jobs.” The exec added that he was sorry to the people who would be let go.

BuzzFeed employees are not new to the cost-cutting process, but reporters and editors in the U.S. and at BuzzFeed News have largely been spared from previous rounds of cuts. The news division is expected to be impacted by the cuts but isn’t the division most affected.

BuzzFeed parted ways with about 100 employees in November 2017, which Peretti positioned as an evolution of the company, though those affected worked mostly in advertising sales and business operations.

“Our business is more diverse and balanced than it was a year ago and, very importantly, for the first time a quarter of our annual revenue will come from sources other than direct sold advertising,” Peretti wrote in a memo to staff at the time.

BuzzFeed News, which launched in earnest when the company poached editor-in-chief Ben Smith from Politico in 2012, regularly produces reporting on par with much larger news organizations, such as a Jan. 17 scoop about President Donald Trump and his former fixer Michael Cohen that upended the media-political ecosystem for several days and led to the office of the special counsel issuing a rare statement denying an aspect of the story.

But, newsgathering is not generally profitable, and the company has not followed legacy media competitors in putting reporting behind a paywall. Instead, the company has sought to tap different sources of consumer revenue, including a paid membership program that launched in November.

“We’ve had years when we’ve been profitable, and years when we’re not profitable,” Peretti said on an industry podcast last July. “On years, when we’re profitable, we haven’t said we’re profitable. We’ve proven we can be profitable. I feel good about where our business is now.”

He added, “Sometimes, it’s not smart to focus on profitability. Right now, we’re focused on sustainable growth so we’re innovating, managing our costs in a more rigorous way and we’re growing our top line in double-digit growth.”

DCG

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Mueller: Buzzfeed report that Trump told Cohen to lie to Congress is bunk

The hyenas in the Hate America MSM were beside themselves with glee when a Buzzfeed story published Thursday, January 17, cited two unnamed federal law enforcement officials claiming that former Trump attorney Michael Cohen told Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office that in 2017, Trump had instructed him (Cohen) to lie to Congress about a now-abandoned real estate deal to build a Trump Tower in Russia.

Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani immediately refuted the Buzzfeed story as false: “Any suggestion – from any source – that the president counseled Michael Cohen to lie is categorically false. Michael Cohen is a convicted criminal and a liar. Today’s claims are just more made-up lies born of Michael Cohen’s malice and desperation, in an effort to reduce his sentence.”

A day later, on Friday, January 18, the Buzzfeed story is refuted by none other than Mueller’s office. Mueller’s spokesman Peter Carr said: “BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate.”

FoxNews notes that Carr’s statement “is remarkable in that Mueller’s team rarely issues statements in response to news stories. But BuzzFeed’s story sparked immense interest from Democrats, who called for renewed investigations and even suggested the allegations could be a basis for impeachment proceedings.”

Responding to the statement from Mueller’s office, Buzzfeed‘s Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith, 42, tweeted that “We stand by our reporting and the sources who informed it”.

For his part, President Trump, in a tweet yesterday, reminds us that it was none other than Buzzfeed that first published the bogus “golden shower” Russian dossier:

Remember it was Buzzfeed that released the totally discredited “Dossier,” paid for by Crooked Hillary Clinton and the Democrats (as opposition research), on which the entire Russian probe is based! A very sad day for journalism, but a great day for our Country!

~Eowyn

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Buzzfeed sued by firm named in Trump dossier

buzzfeed-ben-smith

Buzzfeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith


Hit the Fake News where is hurt$ the mo$t.
From NY Post: Buzzfeed was sued by the Russia-tied tech firm named in the dossier that contained unsubstantiated allegations against President Trump for including “libelous, unverified” information about the company, McClatchy reported Friday, citing the lawsuits.
The defamation suits were brought by XBT Holdings. Company lawyers reportedly filed complaints against BuzzFeed and its editor Ben Smith. A former British spy and his company were also named in complaints. The company seeks an “undetermined compensation for the damages.”
A Buzzfeed spokeman told McClatchy that it redacted the name of the company’s owner and “apologized for including it.”
McClatchy reported that the dossier said XBT and affiliates “had been using botnets and porn traffic to transmit viruses, plant bugs, steal data and conduct “altering operations” against the Democratic Party leadership.”
The suit reportedly says Alekej Gubarev, XBT’s owner, is married with three children and “has found his personal and professional reputation in tatters.”
The network did not give details about the information, saying the charges had not been verified, but BuzzFeed soon published the 35-page dossier. Most reputable news organizations, following up the story, also did not report the details.
Trump and his team was quick to attack news organizations that spread unsubstantiated reports about a damaging dossier last month collected on him by Russia, an incident that illustrates how old rules of journalism are being tested in today’s rapidly changing media world. Trump called BuzzFeed “a pile of garbage” for publishing the allegations.
CNN reported that Trump had been briefed by intelligence officials about compromising personal and financial information that Russia had collected on him.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and Vice President Pence sharply condemned those who spread the story. Spicer called BuzzFeed’s decision “outrageous and highly irresponsible,” while Pence said it was an effort by some in the media to delegitimize the election and discredit the incoming administration.
“The American people are sick and tired of it,” Pence said.
Meanwhile, Trump credited The New York Times, a newspaper he’s often been at odds with, for its decision not to publish what it could not independently verify.
DCG

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Breitbart's Video of Obama at Harvard on Hannity Tonight!

 Pro-Obama Buzzfeed Released Edited Version of Controversial Video 

Breitbart.com Editor-in-Chief Joel Pollak and Editor-at-Large Ben Shapiro will appear on The Sean Hannity Show to discuss the tape.

The full tape will be released tonight on Fox News’ Hannity

The video, which Kaczynski says was “licensed from a Boston television station,” shows a young Barack Obama leading a protest at Harvard Law School on behalf of Prof. Derrick Bell, a radical academic tied to Jeremiah Wright–about whom we will be releasing significant information in the coming hours.
This is the video from Obama’s Harvard days that Andrew Breitbart spoke of in his CPAC 2012 speech just weeks before his death.  full story here
 
~LTG

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