BuzzFeed News Cuts Podcast Production Team

BuzzFeed logoBuzzFeed is cutting its in-house podcast production team and is shifting to creating original shows similar to the ones it produces for Netflix, Twitter and Facebook. This was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Vice President of News and Programming at BuzzFeed News, Shani Hilton, said in a memo to staff that most of Buzzfeed’s podcasts would be shutting down. This includes See Something Say Something, The News, and Reporting To You.

See Something Say Something was hosted by Ahmed Ali Akbar. In the podcast, he covered everything that American Muslims are talking about right now. Topics included misrepresentation in the media, equality in the mosque, Asahd memes, and much more.

The News was hosted by BuzzFeed News reporters, who released a show every Saturday about the latest news. It was described as “news that’s smart, not stuffy.”

Reporting to You was the Buzzfeed News daily news and culture debrief. It was hosted by the BuzzFeed News team. New episodes were released every weekday with a summary of what you need to know.

On September 19, 2018, Tracy Clayton (@brokeymcpoverty), who hosted Another Round with Heben Nigatu, tweeted: “ADDITIONAL INFO RE: BUZZFEED’S PODCAST CUTS: i am also being let go. as of october 21, my position is being eliminated, and i will be leaving the company. as my name was not in the internal email detailing this fact, i was only now made aware through clarification.”

On September 20, 2018, the BuzzFeed News PodSquad posted a tweet that included the following: “@BuzzFeedNews has made the decision to dissolve our team and end most of our shows with it, including The News, Reporting to You, and @seesomething. @ThirstAidKit will continue through the rest of its season.” The next tweet in the thread included: “Our producers are now looking for work.”

Thirst Aid Kit is hosted by Bim Adewunmi and Nichole Perkins. They explore the public ways that women express their desire, particularly in this moment when we are all asking more pointed questions about Hollywood, representation, and opportunity. The show included an examination of why we desire who we desire, original fanfic, and fantasies “that take us by surprise.”

The Wall Street Journal article stated that the cuts would only affect “a handful of employees”. BuzzFeed News still plans to continue producing podcasts, but without a dedicated in-house production team (according to a representative from BuzzFeed).

I noticed that the hosts of See Something, Say Something, Another Round, and Thirst Aid Kit are all people of color, four of whom are black women. It wasn’t clear to me who was hosting The News or Reporting to You.