Published On: Tue, Mar 22nd, 2022

BuzzFeed News Top Editor Mark Schoofs to Leave Ahead of Newsroom Cuts

The head of BuzzFeed News and two other top editors are departing the company ahead of cuts to the newsroom.

Mark Schoofs, who became the editor in chief in 2020, said in an email on Tuesday to staff members that he would be stepping down. He said that Tom Namako, the deputy editor in chief, and Ariel Kaminer, the executive editor of investigations, would also leave the company. Mr. Namako said in a tweet that he was joining NBC Digital as executive editor.

Mr. Schoofs said in the email that the “next phase” for BuzzFeed News was to accelerate its timeline to become profitable and that it would need to shrink to do so. He said the company hoped to achieve this through voluntary buyouts rather than layoffs.

Jonah Peretti, BuzzFeed’s chief executive, said in a separate email to the staff on Tuesday that BuzzFeed News would need to “prioritize the areas of coverage our audience connects with the most.”

Samantha Henig, BuzzFeed News’s executive editor of strategy, will act as the interim editor in chief, Mr. Peretti said.

He announced further job cuts on the BuzzFeed video team and the editorial team at Complex Networks, a lifestyle publisher that BuzzFeed acquired last year, and said there would also be cuts on the business and administrative teams.

“The cuts impact around 1.7 percent of our total workforce today,” Mr. Peretti wrote, “and we do not take that lightly.”

BuzzFeed, the parent company of BuzzFeed News, reported earnings on Tuesday for the first time as a public company after it began trading on the Nasdaq on Dec. 6. It said revenue grew by 18 percent to $145 million in the most recent quarter, compared with the previous year. Profit rose to $41.6 million, up 29 percent from the same period the year before.

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