This has been an agonizingly brutal week for digital media, with mass layoffs at HuffPost, Gannett, and as of Friday, internet juggernaut BuzzFeed. While it’s unclear at this time exactly how many employees BuzzFeed has let go, the numbers gleaned publicly suggest sweeping layoffs across multiple departments, with entire news desks—including their national news team—simply shuttered in one fell swoop.
In a truly dystopian twist, BuzzFeed has decided to stagger the layoffs at the company across multiple days, starting today—some people will have to stew with the anxiety of maybe losing their jobs all weekend before finding out their fate.
Understandably, this has left the remaining staff at BuzzFeed with plenty of questions about the company’s—and their own personal—future. And fortunately for them, BuzzFeed has a forum for that: A dedicated Slack channel for employees to ask their CEO, Jonah Peretti, “anything.” And boy are they.
Thanks to a source inside BuzzFeed who has understandably asked to remain anonymous, here is glimpse at what people are asking Jonah today.
Note: The following are snapshots and may not include all relevant threaded conversations, or interstitial messages. They do, however, give you a sense of what is happening at BuzzFeed at the moment. All employee names and photos have been blurred, except for Peretti himself.
From cat videos to therapy dogs. What a time to be in digital media!
We’ve reached out to BuzzFeed for comment and to ask how they intend to address the concerns raised by employees in this Slack channel, as well as elaboration on who and how many people are affected by the layoffs. We will update if we hear back. If you know anything about what’s going on, get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update, 4:09 p.m. ET: More than 40 people have reportedly been let go, with new layoffs scheduled to begin next week.
Update, 4:25 p.m. ET: BuzzFeed Editor in Chief Ben Smith has released the following statement to his office: