Why BuzzFeed Doesn’t Make Money

Buzzfeed has never made a profit in 13 years, after being in business that long it is hard to claim you are still a start-up, or as they put it in a statement accompanying the late filing of the UK subsidiary’s annual accounts “still in investment mode”. Which is another way of saying “still losing money”.

The UK subsidiary has quadrupled losses, turnover slumped 35% to £21.6 million, which they say was due to “intercompany revenue” from parent company BuzzFeed Inc. dropping £14.8 million. Whatever those financial shenanigans were they have come to an end. Investors will marvel at how Buzzfeed has burnt through over $500 million of their money which they will never get back.

The pivot to video which was Buzzfeed’s big bet doesn’t appear to be paying any dividends in the UK at least, nor will it until advertisers value the audience. If as, Guido suspects, they have a primarily youthful audience they will not be able to command rates much above Facebook, which means thin margins. Guido has been trying to figure out how to make video or podcasts commercially viable and concluded that until advertisers create audio or video content that needs distribution to his audience, it just won’t be profitable. The Spectator uses their excellent podcast output as a gateway drug to becoming a subscriber, Business Insider and HuffPo are generating significant revenue with sponsored videos. The Economist is very successfully monetising their podcast audience to the tune of millions from corporate advertisers. The Economist demonstrates that if advertisers can be shown you have a valuable audience, they will pay. Buzzfeed’s problem is that their audience is the same “trash audience” that can be bought off Facebook or Google for pennies…

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Owen Bennett Fired Over #MeToo Scandal

Owen Bennett – the recently hired Whitehall editor at The Telegraph – has been fired, after executives at the newspaper discovered he had lied about the circumstances in which he had left his previous position at the Huffington Post. Owen, who publicly presents himself as a feminist and sexual equality advocate, has a less public reputation as a Westminster sex pest.

Sources at the Huffington Post were tight-lipped though they did not deny that he left the “woke” publication before a disciplinary procedure could be commenced. Guido understands that he has been the subject of more than one complaint, including one made to the newly established parliamentary complaints hotline.

When Guido put the allegations to Bennett last night, he confirmed the employment situation and that he had left the Huffington Post because of allegations related to another female employee. Owen’s former boss at the Huffington Post, Paul Waugh, said that all questions should be directed to their human resources department. Owen told Guido that he has been having counseling and therapy sessions to deal with his issues. Later on in the evening, Owen called to say he was aware of a very serious allegation circulating against him and that he would sue if it was published.

Owen made headlines recently with revelations about Michael Gove’s cocaine taking in his biography published during the Tory leadership campaign. Owen is popular in the Lobby with some, though one hack – who already knew of the allegations – said “he deserves everything he gets”.

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Why is the BBC Giving a U.S. Media Corporation an All Day Advertising Boost?

Tomorrow BBC 5 Live will partner with the US-owned left-wing news site Huffington Post for an all day ‘Twenties Takeover’. Guest presenters will be joined by twentysomething producers and reporters to direct the day’s editorial planning, social media and phone-ins from 6 am to 1 am. Rozina Breen, head of news at BBC 5 Live, said: “The idea behind commissioning the Twenties Takeover was to put young people at the heart of BBC 5 Live’s journalism, from editorial leadership to commissioning and storytelling”. Sounds like an innovative idea to empower young journalists.

For some reason they are partnering with the left-wing Huffington Post for the project. Surely out of the thousands of journalists at the BBC some are in their twenties? Why bring in twentysomethings only from one outside left-wing website? We at Guido Fawkes have spent days attempting to help the BBC out and get involved, bringing a bit of left/right balance, to no avail. We asked the producers to be involved and have been firmly rebuffed...

Guido’s news editor wrote on Tuesday to the producer who originated the idea:

Dear Jason,

As the 27-year old News Editor at Guido Fawkes, I was very excited to see your #TwentiesTakeOver article in HuffPost this morning about young people taking over BBC Five Live for a day in collaboration with HuffPost this week. I think it’s a fantastic idea to help nurture young talent and get different perspectives heard.
Both myself and my colleague Tom Harwood are young journalists in our twenties, and we would be delighted to get involved in the project this Thursday. As a right-leaning site we would help to balance out the left-leaning HuffPost and provide a broader range of perspectives from people in their twenties.
Incidentally, Guido Fawkes is the only UK tabloid publication with a 9/9 NewsGuard rating. For comparison, HuffPost only scored 8/9, failing on the criteria: “handles the difference between news and opinion responsibly.”
Please do let me know how we can help take this project forward.
Best wishes
Hugh Bennett

After an initial phone call with the BBC to get a response, it seemed as if they were willing to work with Guido’s twentysomethings. Another call to firm up details found Guido rebuffed, told that the BBC and Huffington Post were running this project and there was no room for any other twentysomething voices editorially. Producers wouldn’t tell Guido how or why Huffington Post are exclusively involved, why a partnership was needed at all considering the thousands of 20-somethings hired by the BBC, and why no other publications were offered a similar deal…

Huffington Post is part of a multi-billion dollar US media and telecoms conglomerate. The value of an entire day of promotion on one of Britain’s national radio stations is hard to quantify. According to one advertising executive we spoke to it would be worth “hundreds of thousands”. Imagine if the BBC was partnering with The Sun or Mail Online, and giving them a entire day’s free advertising to 5 Live’s millions of listeners. There would be an outcry…

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Guido’s Guide to Tory Davises/Davieses

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The geniuses at HuffPo are very angry with Brexit Secretary David Davis, accusing him of proposing dental age checks on refugees arriving in Britain and illustrating their story with a picture of him at the desptach box. Also boarding the outrage bus are the amateurs at the LibDem press office, though they are upset with Philip Davies over the dental checks idea. If these Remoaners had checked before rushing out their Brexiteer bashing stories and press releases, they’d have seen that it was actually proposed by backbencher David Davies. Guido has produced a handy graphic to help HuffPo and the LibDems:

davies

There’s also Mims Davies, though less likely that mistake will be made. These Tory MPs all sound the same…

Graphic credit: @mrharrycole
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No, Le Pen Did Not Endorse May’s Conference Speech

huff

Less thorough elements of the online media are claiming that Marine Le Pen last night tweeted an endorsement of Theresa May’s conference speech. According to Huff Po UK:

Le Pen, who was once tried for inciting racial hatred for comparing Muslims praying publicly to the Nazi occupation, responded: “Exactly.” She even threw in an applause emoji.

And according to the Independent:

Theresa May’s Conservative conference speech has received a ringing endorsement from French far right leader, Marine Le Pen.

No, she didn’t. The account which sent the tweet was clearly marked “compte non officiel”, which you really shouldn’t have to be French to be able translate. The Indy have now deleted their article (cached version can still be seen here), but HuffPo’s is still up. Story is complete BS but, hey, at least it gets you some clicks…

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Hypocrisy of Holier-Than-Thou HuffPo

Fresh from HuffPo attacking hairdressers who failed to pay minimum wage, despite being themselves being sued for not paying writers minimum wage or indeed any wage at all, they switched to coverage of Olympics coverage. Specifically the presenters lack of skin coverage…

huff

HuffPo are delighting social justice warriors with their coverage of BBC presenter Helen Skelton at the Olympics. While other media has noted Helen’s short skirts in Rio, holier-than-thou HuffPo mocked their rivals with the headlines “Woman Wears Dress” and “Woman Who Wore Dress Also Owns Bra”Take that, MailOnline!

Yet a quick browse of the HuffPo site reveals they are obsessed with pointing out women wearing revealing clothes. Currently racking up the clicks on HuffPo today are stories about Kylie Jenner wearing a “naked jumpsuit”, Bella Hadid’s “nearly naked trend”, and another Kylie story about her “underboob”. Funny that these stories were not titled “Woman Wears Dress” too. Hypocritical HuffPo are feminists only when it’s good for traffic…

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