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Buzzfeed’s axe falls hard on journalists as more redundancies revealed

A number of Buzzfeed Australia editors and senior journalists have announced their redundancies this morning.

Among those to exit the business are Buzzfeed Australia’s editor at large, Jenna Guillaume; social news lead, Brad Esposito; political editor, Alice Workman; senior reporter, Josh Taylor; lifestyle producer, Michelle Rennex and photo editor, Anna Mendoza.

Lifestyle editor Jemima Skelley, and video producer, Nick Arnold, have also announced their exits, while head of entertainment and lifestyle, Jenna Clarke, is leaving to join the team at West Australian Newspapers.

11 roles will be impacted at Buzzfeed Australia

Guillaume was one of the first hires for Buzzfeed Australia as was Esposito, who joined the business in late 2013. Buzzfeed Australia officially launched in early 2014.

Taylor joined the title from Crikey in 2017, while Rennex joined the publication in 2015.

The redundancies come two days after Buzzfeed Australia’s founding editor and general manager, Simon Crerar, announced he would leave the business as part of the 11 job cuts to occur in Australia.

Mumbrella understands more announcements will be made today.

In a post on Twitter, Guillaume said she was sad to be leaving the business, but was excited about new opportunities.

Guillaume later told Mumbrella she had loved working at Buzzfeed and was excited about new opportunities.

“I’ve absolutely loved working at Buzzfeed and look forward to seeing it continue to thrive in Australia,” she said.

Like, Guillaume, Esposito said he had loved working with the company over the last five years.

“After 5 years I’ll also be leaving BuzzFeed. I loved working for this company and I loved working with these people,” Esposito said. “I will spend the rest of my life trying to make it happen again wherever I go.”

Taylor also said today was his last day. “It’s been a dream job, the best team I’ve worked for and a wonderful office so I’m sad, but know it’s time to try something new,” he wrote on Twitter.

Rennex said she was “scared, exciting and ready” for her next move.

Mendoza, who joined Buzzfeed Australia as photo editor in 2015, said it had been the “most rewarding chapter” of her life.

In another post on Twitter, Skelley said she had had “the time of her life” with the publisher.

Arnold said of his departure: “This company brought me to a side of the world I never thought I’d live in, and the people I found here are some of the absolute best.”

Buzzfeed revealed it would cut 15% of staff globally late last month. A few days after the announcement, the company said 11 people would lose their jobs in the Australian office.

UPDATE 1:04pm February 15:

A Buzzfeed spokesperson has provided Mumbrella with the following statement: “We’ve completed the consultation process and we are grateful for the many contributions of the people who are leaving us.”

UPDATE 1:25pm February 15:

Head of entertainment and lifestyle at Buzzfeed Australia, Jenna Clarke, is also leaving the business to join West Australian Newspapers as assistant editor. Clarke joined Buzzfeed Australia in June last year, after a year as digital managing editor of Elle, Harper’s Bazaar and Cosmopolitan Australia.

She also previously worked as Life and Style editor at Fairfax Media, which is now owned by Nine.

Clarke joined Buzzfeed Australia in June last year

Meanwhile, political editor, Alice Workman, has announced today is her last day of reporting. Workman joined the publication in 2016, and was responsible for the launch of a new political show, OzPol Live.

“We’ve done some amazing, mad and disruptive things in our short time in #auspol at @BuzzFeedOzPol and I’m really proud to have worked with such a bloody brilliant team,” Workman said.

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