Bill Doskoch: Media, BPS*, Film, Minutiae

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Buzzfeed Canada shuts down parliamentary bureau

Buzzfeed Canada opened its doors with a two-person parliamentary bureau back in 2015. But now it’s 2016, and there’s no election, so goodbye parliamentary bureau.

From the Globe and Mail (“BuzzFeed Canada to close Parliament Hill bureau“):

Multiple sources say the decision to close its Ottawa office has already been made, and that its two staff – politics editor Paul McLeod and political reporter Emma Loop – are being offered a choice to be re-assigned to jobs in Washington, D.C., or let go with severance. Only three weeks ago, BuzzFeed toasted its first anniversary in Canada at a party held in Toronto’s trendy Queen Street West neighbourhood. …

“With the 2015 Canadian federal election behind us, we are wrapping up our Canadian political coverage,” said Scott Lamb, BuzzFeed’s vice-president of international editorial, in a memo to staff provided to The Globe and Mail by BuzzFeed.

There are no cuts planned to the 10 staff who work out of the company’s Canadian headquarters in Toronto. The office houses news staff and social-media editors as well as a small team who produce so-called buzz items – the less journalistic content that’s tailored to be widely shared.

In recent months, there have been other signs that the financial pressures afflicting traditional media may be beginning to catch up to newer digital-news outlets as well. In April, the Financial Times reported that BuzzFeed had badly missed its 2015 revenue projection of $250-million (U.S.), bringing in only $170-million, and that it had halved its 2016 target. BuzzFeed disputed the figures, but did not provide its own numbers.

Also in April, news website Mashable announced it was moving away from covering world news and politics to focus more on other areas such as web culture, social media, entertainment and lifestyle coverage. Then, in May, Vice Media cut 15 staff in the United States and three members of its team in Britain, though its Canadian office was spared any job losses.

I saw a tweet that suggested Vice Canada had also withdrawn from Parliament Hill. I asked G&M media writer James Bradshaw about it and got the following response:

Tue, June 28 2016 » Main Page, Media