The Biden era is wreaking havoc on the media industry. BuzzFeed on Tuesday announced dozens of layoffs at HuffPost, just weeks after acquiring the liberal website from Verizon Media.
The downsizing, which will affect 47 of the 190 HuffPost employees based in the United States, was designed to "fast-track the path to profitability," BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti told staff members. Additionally, HuffPost Canada will be shut down, affecting all of its 23 employees.
The HuffPost union said 33 of its members, about a third of its total membership, were laid off. "We are devastated and infuriated, particularly after an exhausting year of covering a pandemic and working from home," the union said in a statement.
According to accounts published on social media, the layoffs were carried out in a particularly brutal fashion:
HuffPost employees, after a year of working through a pandemic that isn't over, were invited to a meeting today with the password "spring is here," where they were told 47 of them would be laid off. They would only know if they still had a job if they didn't receive an email by 1
— Laura Bassett (@LEBassett) March 9, 2021
The announcement comes nearly a month after Bloomberg News, the media conglomerate founded by billionaire Michael Bloomberg, laid off nearly 100 journalists as part of an effort to restructure the newsroom. NBC Universal has also canned more than 100 employees in 2021.
Former president Donald Trump knew this day would come. Less than a year into his first term as commander in chief, Trump prophesied that "newspapers, television, all forms of media will tank if I'm not there because, without me, their ratings are going down the tubes."