The Huffington Post is laying off some of its fake news reporters as the liberal corporate media business continues to circle the drain in the age of President Donald Trump.
In all, the media industry lost about 1,000 jobs nationwide this week.
At HuffPost, the layoffs were set in motion Thursday morning; the site itself reported that employees “began receiving calendar invitations to meet with human resources” that day. The cuts come a month after Verizon announced it was taking a $4.6 billion writedown on Oath, a move that left it with a value of just $200 million. Oath changed its name to Verizon Media this month.
“Our goal is to create the best experiences for our consumers and the best platforms for our customers,” a Verizon Media spokesperson said in a statement. “Today marks a strategic step toward better execution of our plans for growth and innovation into the future.”
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Buzzfeed is also reeling from layoffs after their fake news Michael Cohen piece was debunked.
A week ago, two of BuzzFeed’s all-star “investigative journalists” reported a story accusing President Donald J. Trump of instructing his former personal attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress, a felony.
Shortly thereafter, the story imploded when Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III debunked it, in a truly embarrassing display for the world-renowned listicle website. Editor-in-Chief of BuzzFeed’s news division, Ben Smith, doubled down on the story, claiming that his reporters’ anonymous sources knew more about the investigation than the Special Counsel himself.
Now, BuzzFeed is back in the headlines, and coincidentally (or perhaps not) the network will be laying off 15 percent of its staff, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
“BuzzFeed is planning to lay off about 15% of its workforce, according to people familiar with the situation, as the company seeks to reorient itself in a shifting digital-media landscape,” the report said. “The cuts could affect around 250 jobs, the people said. The firm, among the most high-profile digital-native publishers, also is looking to realign its resources to invest more in promising areas of the business like content licensing and e-commerce, one of the people said.”
Moving away from news and into content licensing is perhaps smart, given the website’s proclivity for viral cat videos, which is diametrically opposed to its reputation for hapless journalism.
The Journal said that BuzzFeed is considering a merger with “other digital media players.”
“Unfortunately, revenue growth by itself isn’t enough to be successful in the long run. The restructuring we are undertaking will reduce our costs and improve our operating model so we can thrive and control our own destiny, without ever needing to raise funding again,” BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti reportedly told his staff in a memo.
America might just have to figure out how to survive with fewer listicles and fake news “bombshells,” a truly grim prospect.
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