Two of BuzzFeed’s political editors have taken voluntary buyouts from the site, several of the site’s staffers confirmed online and to Gawker.
The layoffs came two months after BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti announced in an earnings call that the editorial team would be downsizing, cutting between 25 and 50 roles by way of voluntary buyout. At the time, the company was engaged in active contract negotiations with the news division’s union, which the union claimed restricted BuzzFeed’s ability to downsize.
But on May 6, BuzzFeed New Union announced that they had ratified their first union contract — a three-year CBA that would raise salary floors, cap healthcare costs, bar the use of NDAs in sexual harassment cases, and, notably, expand severance and buyout packages.
“Near the end of our process, we faced yet another attempt from management to gut our newsroom through buyouts,” the shop wrote in a press release, “but we once again fought back to secure better terms for our members.”
With negotiations over, it seems buyouts have resumed under the terms of the agreement. The editors, Matt Berman and Katherine Miller, announced their departures on Twitter. In a thread, Berman said he’d accepted the buyout to care for his child. Miller shared a screenshot note:
“I just want to add that I’m so grateful we have a union,” BuzzFeed New political reporter and union chair Addy Baird told Gawker. “Twice, before we even had a contract, having a union has saved us from sudden and devastating layoffs.”