The Australian arm of global online media organization Buzzfeed will soon close its news coverage in the island nation. The move is attributed to an announcement made by the parent company to centralize their news operations in US. Buzzfeed has also decided to step down in UK and cites strategic and economic reasons for the initiative.
The on-going Covid-19 pandemic has affected several media houses in Australia including Nine Entertainment Co., Seven West Media and News Corp Australia. A significant amount of their revenue which is raised through advertisements has witnessed a sharp decline owing to the global situation.
Buzzfeed Australia was launched in 2014 for news operations and commercial activities. It has presently employed 25 employees across sales and content domains. Lane Sainty, Head of the local editorial team at Buzzfeed, has lately tweeted his despondency due to the closure of local news operations. He says that for him, working at Buzzfeed has been a challenging yet incredible experience.
As per sources, it is less likely for the news operations in the continent to be restored. The previous year, the local wing in Australia was forced to cut costs by slashing 15 per cent of its workforce. It was also the time when Buzzfeed Australia’s General Manager, Simon Crerar, had resigned.
A US Buzzfeed spokeswoman states that due to economic and strategic reasons, the organization has resorted to focus on news that hits big in the United States. The company will soon notify its Australian and UK counterparts regarding the closure of local news operations. She further adds that the employees working in these regions will be conveyed the details of furloughs and stand-downs shortly.
Buzzfeed was originally founded in the United States in 2006 as an entertainment company and digital media organization. Based in New York City, it has proceeded for overseas expansion in the recent years. Citing economic reasons, it has also opted for cutbacks in the past and plans to do the same with its Australian and UK news operations.