Tags: BuzzFeed | Gawker | sales | FT

BuzzFeed Chairman Disputes Report of 50 Percent Cut in Sales Target

BuzzFeed Chairman Disputes Report of 50 Percent Cut in Sales Target
BuzzFeed homepage on April 13 (BuzzFeed)

By    |   Wednesday, 13 April 2016 11:49 AM

BuzzFeed chairman Ken Lerer says the listicle website hasn’t changed its sales forecast for 2016, disputing a Financial Times report of drastic cuts.

“Anyone who thinks that this isn’t a terrific time to be in digital content is dead wrong,” Lerer said to Re/Code. “It’s a fantastic time.”

The Financial Times on Tuesday reported BuzzFeed had cut its 2016 revenue goal in half to $250 million from $500 million.

Lerer declined to provide more detail about the company’s financials. He said BuzzFeed reached its first-quarter target this year and is on pace to exceed its projections for the rest of this year.

“There’s nothing cratering in the industry. It’s better than ever,” Lerer told Re/Code. “It’s just different. And if you want to succeed, you have to open your eyes and realize how it’s different, and take advantage of it.”

BuzzFeed posted sales of $170 million in 2015, missing a target of $210 million, according to an unnamed source cited by Re/Code. The FT said the 2015 target was $250 million.

Digital Dispute

Meanwhile, gossip website Gawker this week was accused by professional wrestler Hulk Hogan of shielding assets to avoid paying damages in a court judgment.

Gawker and its owner Nick Denton last month were ordered to pay Hogan $140 million for violating his privacy by publishing a video of him having sex with the wife of a former friend. Gawker claimed the jury award would be “ruinous” to the company and requested the damages to be lowered to $2 million.

Hogan’s lawyers alleged Denton hid millions of dollars in Gawker profits through jacked-up licensing fees to a Hungarian sister company. Lawyers for Gawker and Hogan agreed that Denton is worth $117 million while his company is valued at $83 million.

“It’s very hypocritical that Mr. Denton continues to cloak himself in the Constitution while it also appears he’s expatriating great sums of money to Eastern Europe, potentially to avoid taxation and creditor issues,” Hogan’s lawyer, David Houston, told the New York Post.

“Hulk Hogan is imagining that there is something to uncover here,” Gawker responded in court papers. “We’ve been fully transparent about both our finances and the corporate structure, to him and to the courts. The appeals court has previously addressed that structure and has not bought Hogan’s arguments that there is something questionable about it.”

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RobWilliams
BuzzFeed chairman Ken Lerer says the listicle website hasn't changed its sales forecast for 2016, disputing a Financial Times report of drastic cuts.
BuzzFeed, Gawker, sales, FT
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2016-49-13
Wednesday, 13 April 2016 11:49 AM
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