BuzzFeed furloughs staff in UK, Australia as part of cutback

BuzzFeed furloughs staff in UK, Australia as part of cutback
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BuzzFeed News will furlough staffers and is reportedly ending its local news coverage in the U.K. and Australia as it scales back its holdings due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Fourteen staffers in the news division across the U.K. and Australia are the latest to be furloughed by the company, which announced furloughs across other divisions last week. Sources told The Guardian that those 14 staffers are unlikely to see their jobs return.

The company confirmed to The Hill that BuzzFeed is "not planning to cover local news in those countries" for the time being, but did not comment on future plans for those divisions.

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“For economic and strategic reasons, we are going to focus on news that hits big in the United States during this difficult period,” the company said in a statement obtained by The Hill.

“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 continued.

The BuzzFeed News union tweeted Tuesday evening that it hoped management would consider alternatives to layoffs or furloughs.

"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," tweeted the union.

"Our newsroom is united and ready to work with BuzzFeed toward an agreement that lets us truly share any sacrifice required and helps ALL of our colleagues. We ask management to keep an open mind, and come to the bargaining table ready to explore all possible solutions," the union added.

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Updated at 4:45 p.m. with a statement from BuzzFeed News.