Vivek Ramaswamy calls on BuzzFeed to cut staff and hire ‘top talents’ like Tucker Carlson


In a letter to the media company's board, Vivek Ramaswamy has called on digital media firm, BuzzFeed, to cut staff, invest in its audio and video capabilities, and hire high-profile “content creators” like Candace Owens and Tucker Carlson

The former Republican U.S. presidential contender, who this month revealed he has built an 8.3% stake in BuzzFeed, called for a “complete ground-up restructuring” of the New York City media company to prepare it for an artificial intelligence-dominated world. 

Ramaswamy said BuzzFeed should seek to boost its credibility by admitting that it has “lost sight of fairness” and “repeatedly lied” to the public on various matters including American politics, the trial of Kevin Spacey, and the “bloody history” of Che Guevara’s life. 

BuzzFeed should instead seek to boost “diversity of thought” inside its ranks to restore trust in its brand and distinguish itself from its competitors, by refocusing itself around the “pursuit of truth,” Ramaswamy said.

Buzzfeed BZFD, +7.14% shares, listed on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, fell 3% in out-of-hours trading on Wednesday having increased in value by 178% in the year-to-date. Buzzfeed shares have lost 92% of their value since its initial $1.5 billion public offering in 2021. 

Ramaswamy, who founded biotech company Roivant Sciences ROIV, -1.37% in 2014, said the sharp drop in Buzzfeed’s market capitalization means the company must now “right-size itself” via “large-scale headcount reductions” and by dumping its “legacy digitized print business model” to focus on video and audio content instead. 

The investor said Buzzfeed should use its 60 million YouTube subscribers and 280 million social media followers to recruit “top talents” on an “eat-what-you-kill model” that would see them paid relative to the revenue they generate.

Ramaswamy, who has repeatedly spoken out against the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) movement, said Buzzfeed should shift its focus away from racial and gender diversity by focusing on “diversity of viewpoints” instead.

BuzzFeed was started in 2006 by current CEO Jonah Peretti, who previously co-founded the Huffington Post in 2005. The New York media company was known for pioneering the listicle format before later pivoting into long-form and investigative journalism. 

BuzzFeed later acquired the Huffington Post — which was renamed HuffPost in 2017 — from Verizon Communications in 2021.

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