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Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

BuzzFeed is looking to hire a new president, according to an internal memo sent from CEO and co-founder Jonah Peretti to staff on Tuesday, obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: The role has been vacant since 2017, when then-President Greg Coleman left the position to become a senior advisor to the company. Since, BuzzFeed has diversified its revenue to be less dependent on advertising.

  • It has relied on chief revenue officer Lee Brown to manage its ad sales and international business operations, but according to the note, Brown is departing to become Spotify’s VP, Global Head of Advertising, so operations are shifting as a result.
  • Brown's responsibilities and newer revenue lines will eventually roll up underneath the new president. 

What's new: According to the memo, starting next month, Peretti will run business meetings with BuzzFeed's SVP Ad Strategy and Partnerships Ken Blom.

  • The note says that BuzzFeed will be profitable for the second half of 2019 and "the entirety of 2020."
  • Over the next few months, Peretti says he will manage BuzzFeed's business team "in the style of a smaller startup, with many people reporting to me including sales leadership, international, commerce leadership, operations and research, with everyone stepping up to solve problems and get things done." 

Be smart: BuzzFeed's business is no longer only centered around viral content that brings in lots of ad revenue. Today, ads are only one part of the BuzzFeed business, and things like commerce, brand consulting, events, content licensing and studios all bring in significant portions of BuzzFeed's revenue.

By the numbers: Peretti says BuzzFeed is poised to have "its biggest fourth quarter in its history." He says new lines of businesses, like content licensing and commerce, that didn't exist two years ago, "represent 9-figures of revenue today."

  • At a conference last week, Peretti told Axios that BuzzFeed News isn't profitable. "The goal is to make it sustainable," Peretti said. He said that BuzzFeed's website, entertainment vertical and Tasty brands are profitable, which allows the company to invest in "something like news which is important to the DNA of company, and its brand."

Go deeper: BuzzFeed CEO's 8-step plan to "unbreak" the internet

Go deeper

50 mins ago - Health

Study: Common antidepressant guards against COVID hospitalization

A COVID-19 intensive Care Unit in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil on May 27, 2021. Photo: Fabio Teixeira/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The readily available antidepressant fluvoxamine significantly reduced COVID-related hospitalizations, according to a large study published Wednesday.

Why it matters: The clinical trial suggests that a cheap, readily available drug could dramatically reduce serious illness and death when prescribed early.

By the numbers: Catholics, Biden and abortion

Expand chart
Reproduced from Pew Research Center; Chart: Axios Visuals

President Biden — the second Catholic U.S. president — will meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Friday, as some church leaders debate whether to deny Holy Communion to politicians who support abortion rights.

By the numbers: Overall, two in three U.S. Catholics believe Biden should be allowed to take Communion despite his stance on abortion, according to polling by Pew Research Center.

Texas House probes school library books dealing with race and sexuality

Photo: Brittany Murray/MediaNews Group/Long Beach Press-Telegram via Getty Images

Texas state Rep. Matt Krause, chair of the Texas House Committee on General Investigating, announced Wednesday that he's initiating a probe into schools' library books, according to a letter sent to the state's education agency and other superintendents.

Why it matters: The probe focuses on books that discuss race, sexuality or "make students feel discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress because of their race or sex," Krause wrote in the letter.