BuzzFeed Inc. on Tuesday said it planned to cut roughly 12% of its staff, citing a shift to video content and the prospect of a downturn that could extend "well into 2023," Chief Executive Jonah Peretti said in a message to employees. "Our revenues are being impacted by a combination of worsening macroeconomic conditions, and the ongoing audience shift to vertical video, which is still developing from a monetization standpoint," he said. "That requires us to lower our costs. Unfortunately, reducing our workforce is an essential part of cost cutting. Staff salaries are the single largest cost at the company." He also said the integration of the entertainment network Complex Networks, which BuzzFeed acquired last year, presented "opportunities to consolidate and centralize some areas where we've had duplication." Shares were down 4.4% on Tuesday. The layoffs were the latest in the media industry, after Gannet Co. Inc. and CNN also announced cuts. BuzzFeed had 1,522 employees at the end of last year, with roughly 10% unionized in NewsGuild. The company said it expected to book charges of $8 million to $12 million related to severance, continued benefits, and other aspects of the restructuring. The layoffs were announced a day after The Information reported that social-media platform Pinterest planned to cut some staff.
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