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

How "naked ballots" could upend mail-in voting in Pennsylvania

Trump signs in Olyphant, Penn. Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

Pennsylvania's Supreme Court ordered state officials last week to throw out mail-in ballots submitted without a required inner "secrecy" envelope in November's election, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

The state of play: The decision went under the radar alongside the simultaneous decision to extend the time that mail-in ballots could be counted, but Philadelphia's top elections official warned state legislators this week that throwing out so-called "naked ballots" could bring "electoral chaos" to the state and cause "tens of thousands of votes" to be thrown out — potentially tipping the presidential election.

Commission releases topics for first presidential debate

Moderator Chris Wallace. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace has selected what topics he'll cover while moderating the first presidential debate between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden next week.

What to watch: Topics for the Sept. 29 debate will include Trump and Biden's records, the Supreme Court, COVID-19, economic policy, racism and the integrity of the election, the Commission for Presidential Debates announced on Tuesday. Each topic will receive 15 minutes of conversation and will be presented in no particular order.

Fed chair warns economy will feel the weight of expired stimulus

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Fed Chair Jay Powell bump elbows before House hearing on Tuesday. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday that the expiration of Congress' coronavirus stimulus will weigh on the U.S. economy.

Why it matters: Powell warned that the effects of dried-up benefits are a looming risk to the economy, even if the consequences aren't yet visible.

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