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BuzzFeed News closes in-house audio production studio

BuzzFeed News has closed down its podcast production studio, a move that will end several of its in-house shows. The News, See Something Say Something, and Reporting To You will all cease production. Some shows, such as Thirst Aid Kit, will stay in production. According to sources, BuzzFeed News will continue to greenlight podcasts, but will do so with third-party production studios.

“We’ve decided to move to a production model that is more like our TV projects — that is, treating shows as individual projects, with teams brought on as needed,” wrote Shani Hilton, BuzzFeed vice president of news and programming, in a memo to staff. “We’ve found a lot of success with this approach to our projects on Netflix, Facebook, and Twitter, and we hope to replicate that with audio.”

Three BuzzFeed News employees will be let go with this change. Instead of the in-house audio work, the publisher will focus on creating original visual content for social platforms and on-demand video networks. The dreaded “pivot to video” strikes again.

The news of BuzzFeed’s shift away from audio production echoes the recent changes at Panoply, which announced that it is revising its strategy to focus on technology platforms and exiting the content business.

Anna Washenko

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