Ramaswamy Pushes For Conservative Hires, Layoffs In BuzzFeed Shakeup Bid

Former Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy recently disclosed an 8.37% stake in liberal publication BuzzFeed, is calling for a major overhaul of the struggling media company. In a letter to the board of directors, Ramaswamy argued that BuzzFeed needs a significant shift in strategy to increase its value.

As part of his proposed changes, Ramaswamy recommended hiring talent from “across the political and cultural spectrum,” suggesting conservative commentators such as Candace Owens, Tucker Carlson, Aaron Rodgers, Bill Maher and Charles Barkley. He stated that “no talent should be off-limits to platform, hire or acqui-hire.”

Ramaswamy also called for “large-scale headcount reductions” to focus on creating and monetizing BuzzFeed’s highest-value content. He also urged the company to apologize for past “journalistic failures,” reminding the company and others of the faulty reporting on the debunked Steele Dossier by the now-shuttered BuzzFeed News as an example.

BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti pushed back against Ramaswamy’s suggestions, refusing to apologize for his struggling organization’s past mistakes. He also, however, expressed a willingness to listen to Ramaswamy and other stockholders — probably a good idea.

Ramaswamy believes BuzzFeed faces a “nonzero risk of bankruptcy” by December 2024 due to being millions of dollars in debt and taking a $26 million loss in the first quarter of 2024.