The website, which was founded in 2006, became a worldwide hit thanks to its quizzes, listcicles and focus on popular culture, but quickly made a name for itself with hard-hitting news coverage as well.
The Australian branch of the site launched in 2014 during a period of expansion across the globe.
But in a statement, a company spokesperson confirmed local news coverage was coming to an end.
“Both for economic and strategic reasons, we are going to focus on news that hits big in the United States during this difficult period,” the statement reads.
“Therefore, we will notify staff in the UK and Australia that we are not planning to cover local news in those countries.
“We will be consulting with employees on our plans regarding furloughs and stand-downs in these regions.”
It’s just the latest setback for the site, after 200 global employees lost their jobs in 2019, including 11 Australian workers.
BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti announced last week that 68 employees in other divisions of the company will be furloughed to further cut costs during the COVID-19 crisis, following staff-wide pay cuts in April. We’ve been told some form of staff reductions will hit our newsroom next.
— BuzzFeed News Union ✊ (@bfnewsunion) May 12, 2020
It is understood the latest announcement will lead to some job losses, with remaining staff to focus on US coverage.
Yesterday, the BuzzFeed news union tweeted it would attempt to save jobs.
“BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti announced last week that 68 employees in other divisions of the company will be furloughed to further cut costs during the COVID-19 crisis, following staff-wide pay cuts in April. We’ve been told some form of staff reductions will hit our newsroom next,” it said in a tweet.
“While we haven’t yet received management’s proposal to the union, and there’s a lot of information we still need, we want to be clear: We believe we can and must avoid people losing their jobs.
“A little more than a year ago, we lost about 20 per cent of our newsroom colleagues to unexpected lay-offs. Going through that again – in the middle of a pandemic – would be devastating. We’re ready and eager to negotiate a better alternative.
“Losing a newsroom job now isn’t just a temporary setback. For many colleagues let go, this could be the end of their careers in journalism – all the more calamitous when the work journalists do has never been more important.”