Last week reports came out that a number of liberal digital entities including Buzzfeed, Verizon, which owns Huffington Post, AOL, and Yahoo News, and Gannett Company, a publicly traded American media holding company, which owns USA Today and more than 1,000 daily and weekly newspapers across the country, were shedding jobs, approximately 1,000 of them, with more expected into the following week.
Via Axios we see the cuts broken down in the following manner:
• Verizon Media will cut roughly 800 jobs, or 7% of its global workforce across the organization, as well as certain brands and products. • Buzzfeed will cut roughly 250 jobs, or roughly 15% of its workforce, including jobs within its news division. • Gannett cut over 20 jobs Wednesday, per Poynter, with more expected as the company tries to shed costs amid buyout talks.
Note- I don't care that these are far left liberal websites, any time people are put out of work, I feel for the individuals, not the companies themselves that despite hundreds of millions of dollars propping them up, managed to squander it away because of their deliberate business model of far left, liberal progressive agenda.
We at ANP know how difficult it is to wonder whether we can make rent, electric, Internet, and to stress about stretching out food to last to save money, so seeing anyone put into a that position is heartbreaking.
With that said, there are a number of reasons these business entities are suffering, one of which is the same as almost all Independent Media is suffering from, and that is because very few corporations, such as Google and Facebook, control the majority of digital advertising. They control who gets the ads that pay the most, they control who makes the most, and who to censor to guarantee they make the least.
That doesn't capture the entire issue though, many of these issues stem from what these liberal sites choose to write and what audience they are trying to appeal to.
HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS PROPPED THESE LIBERAL MEDIA SITES UP
When I read about the Buzzfeed cuts, which immediately followed their very bad month engulfed in scandal after publishing a story that was debunked by special counsel Robert Mueller's office, I noted the following in a Digaday report:
Over the past week, the venture-backed publisher has been gripped by a very public multi-day round of layoffs. The staff cuts, which hit almost every corner of the organization, were designed to reduce headcount by 15 percent. The company more or less hit its $300 million revenue target in 2018, but higher-than-expected operating costs doomed its efforts to turn a profit, said one source familiar with the matter.
NBCUniversal initially invested $200 million in 2015. Shortly after the 2016 election, NBCUniversal and BuzzFeed announced “an additional $200M investment to expand the strategic partnership between the two companies and fund the growth of BuzzFeed’s industry leading news and entertainment network.”
Reporter-turned-investment banker Porter Bibb told Fox news that NBCUniversal “controls” BuzzFeed.
“Their $400 million investment is just the tip of the iceberg. They use BuzzFeed content throughout the NBC system and should have disclosed their ownership when reporting especially unconfirmed stories, especially highly contentious reports suggesting the president committed a criminal act,” Bibb said. “Another egregious failure on the part of NBC news chief Andy Lack.”
A look at Verizon, which owns Huffington Post, AOL, and Yahoo, and is cutting almost 800 jobs, we see from Axios that while they are not ditching the company's media unit, they "will have to make money without leveraging data from the company's wireless and wireline subscribers."
The point here is that liberal websites such as Huffpo and Buzzfeed, had millions upon millions pumped into them by companies and organizations to continue to promote a liberal agenda, and yet, despite netting hundreds of millions per year, cannot sustain themselves.
Conservatives websites do not have that benefit.
WHO FUNDS CONSERVATIVE WEBSITES?
Using examples like The Daily Caller and Breitbart, we see a huge difference.
The Daily Caller was initially launched with the help of an individual, billionaire philanthropist Foster Friess, who invested the initial $3 million, followed up with $500,000 when he was "absolutely thrilled" with the DC's work, and currently the site funds itself through native online advertising.
Similarly, Breitbart News, is owned by wealthy individuals including, Breitbart News Network CEO Larry Solov, the billionaire Mercer family (no specific Mercer named, and the founder Andrew Breitbart's widow, Susie.
Smaller conservative Independent Media websites generate revenue a number of ways, some sell products, like Natural News, others use online native advertising, though we at ANP can tell you that those ads bring inless than one-fourth as what they did before the 2016 presidential election when big tech started downranking and censoring IM website news, and rather than wealthy billionaire donors, many of the smaller sites like ANP depend on readers' donations.
See the pattern here? Liberal sites, which are now cutting massive amounts of jobs, had hundreds of millions pumped into them by other liberal corporations, like NBCUniversal with Buzzfeed, yet the bigger conservative websites received far less initial funding by individual donors, not giant corporate entities.
I read a very interesting quote over at The Cut, from HuffPost senior reporter Zach Carter, who tweeted, "This isn’t happening because of market inefficiencies or consumer preferences or social value. It's happening because two very large companies have taken the advertising revenue that journalism outlets rely on and replaced it with nothing." Along with that tweet, Carter linked to a CNBC report about how Google and Facebook account for 73% of all digital advertising in the United States.
The claim from Carter about the digital revenue in regards to Facebook and Google is undoubtedly true, but a look at the public statements about some of the HuffPost cuts, do show the nature of the work published by those individuals, which does suggest that "consumer preferences and social value," does factor into the lack of sustainability for those outlets.
We'll start with Chloe Angyal, HuffPost's opinion editor, who announced on Twitter she was laid off, then offered the following statement: "If you're in the market for an opinion editor with a huge and diverse rolodex, or a columnist with 10 years of writing about gender politics (and a literal PhD in romantic comedies) under her belt, talk to me."
Previously she made a point of highlighting not the quality of the content in the HuffPost opinion section, but the "diversity" of writers, with statements in Twitter such as "Or goals for this month were: less than 50% white authors (check!), Asian representation that matches or exceeds the US population (check!), more trans and non-binary authors (check, but I want to do better)."
Another tweet stated "Month two of @HuffPost Opinion is almost done. This month we published 63% women, inc. trans women; 53% writers of colour."
Ms. Angyal has locked down her account, protecting her tweets from being seen by those not following her, so you can see more at Twitchy.
Apparently the color of the writers, the sex of the writers, the "diversity," meant more than the topic matter, which never bodes well for the health of a company that people want to get actual news from.
Others that commented using their social media, include former HuffPost writer Laura Bassett, who announced she had been laid off, then said "If anyone is looking for a culture/gender/politics reporter, longform and short, I'm available."
Another, Calona Morena, announced her departure on Twitter, saying "After 6+ years @HuffPost, I've been laid off. I'm so proud of the work I've done to uplift Latinx voices here and will miss everyone. If you're looking for a bilingual Latina journalist to cover pop culture/identity/marginalized communities/health, etc, DM me #journalismjobs."
Again, emphasis mine.
Over at Daily Wire, we see that HuffPo Editor-in-Chief Lydia Polgreen, made it clear they would be aligning more dollars to areas with "high audience engagement."
That is my point, when issues that effect or are found to be interesting by less than five percent of an overall population, are focused on more than other issues that effect the majority of the population, all in the name of the liberal keyword "diversity," a news business cannot survive. They could have addressed those topics and still focused more on issues that create a higher "audience engagement," and perhaps these cuts wouldn't have been as large.
As an Independent Media website owner, I can say with 100 percent confidence that most of us do not choose this career to get rich, the majority of us are just happy if we can survive month to month, by providing informative and sourced articles, that interest the majority of our readers.
Seeing a company like Buzzfeed dump 15 percent of their staff after generating $300 million in revenue in 2018, after receiving $400 million from NBCUniversal, and still being hailed by liberal media as trustworthy, while conservative sites are under attack, being censored by Facebook, downranked in Google search engines, shadow banned on Twitter, and are forced to ask readers for donations just to survive, makes me wonder how we are going to turn this information war around.
ANP NEEDS YOUR HELP. With digital media continuing to sprial downward, especially hitting those in Independent Media, it has become apparent that traditional advertising simply isn't going to fully cover the costs and expenses for many smaller independent websites.
Any extra readers may be able to spare for donations is greatly appreciated.
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