Vivek Ramaswamy takes control, proposes radical changes to save BuzzFeed from bankruptcy

May 29, 2024

By Tim Worstall

Vivek Ramaswamy has bought into BuzzFeed – owners of BuzzFeed, HuffPost and others – with an 8.3% stake. This makes him the largest single shareholder of the A-class shares. Vivek is proposing some changes to pull BuzzFeed out of its seeming spiral into bankruptcy.

There are some provocative ideas – a demand that Tucker Carlson be hired, for example – and some less controversial in a business sense.

The full list of the demands can be seen here.

The two most obvious and sensible ideas are, firstly, that BuzzFeed needs to go full Elon Musk on its internal bureaucracy and costs. As with the takeover of Twitter, when 80% of the staff were fired and few users noted any decline in the quality of the product.

That BuzzFeed is grossly overstaffed can be seen from their financial results. As it happens, we know what BuzzFeed the site (not the company as a whole) offers freelancers $100 a piece. It’s really not difficult to make money at those costs unless there’s some vast overhead of editors, timewasters and DEI to pay for as well. As background the American new media sites have adopted the traditional U.S. newspaper management structures. Which used to be strong union sites, true, but they were also geographic monopolies with the revenues and fat profits to suit.

As a general mistake everyone has thought that new media would be as serious as old media if it adopted the same structures – layer upon layer of editorial management. Revenues haven’t been and never will be sufficient to pay for all that. Ramaswamy is correct in insisting all that needs to be stripped away and disposed of.

The other major suggestion is that the varied BuzzFeed sites stop being so decidedly woke and progressive. Perhaps Carlson, or another suggestion, Aaron Rodgers, is being deliberately provocative. But it is true that about half the country (as shown by the last couple of presidential elections) isn’t woke, isn’t progressive. So why not have content and journalists that appeal to that large audience as well as those you’ve already got for the woke ghetto?

To check this you can take our popular quiz, Who hates America more, Russia or BuzzFeed? Further examples in our listing of why BuzzFeed News had to shut down it was so bad.

Firing at least half of the people already there and losing so much money then adding some real diversity – why wouldn’t it work? We know why BuzzFeed won’t take it well – diversity of opinion is exactly what they don’t mean nor want.

Go woke, go broke is a cliché by now. But running a company along those woke lines – internally, not just the external poses – does indeed cause such bankruptcy.


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