Vivek Ramaswamy demands BuzzFeed hire Bill Maher, Tucker Carlson, Charles Barkley and Aaron Rodgers

Former GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy wants Buzzfeed to hire the likes of Bill Maher, Tucker Carlson, Aaron Rodgers and Charles Barkley to help turn around the struggling news site’s fortunes.

Ramaswamy, who recently disclosed an 8.3% stake in the failing media company, fired off a letter on Monday to BuzzFeed’s board demanding that the company slash jobs, appoint three new members to its board of directors and give more prominent roles to conservatives so as to embrace “greater diversity of thought.”

Shares of BuzzFeed, which is listed on the Nasdaq, soared by around 20% last week after it was learned that Ramaswamy took an activist stake in the company.

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Vivek Ramaswamy, who owns an 8.3% stake in BuzzFeed, is agitating for an overhaul of the company. AP

In his letter, Ramaswamy criticized BuzzFeed for several moves that fed into public “distrust of the media,” including its decision in 2017 to publish a dossier by ex-British spy Christopher Steele that contained salacious and unproven allegations against former President Donald Trump.

“Distinguish yourself from competitors by openly admitting your past journalistic failures and redefine BuzzFeed’s brand around the pursuit of truth,” Ramaswamy wrote in the letter.

Jonah Peretti, the founder and CEO of BuzzFeed, claimed in a written response that Ramaswamy held “fundamental misunderstandings” about BuzzFeed’s business operations, adding that Buzzfeed was “definitely not going to issue an apology for our Pulitzer Prize-winning journalism.”

Peretti owns a special class of voting stock that gives him effective veto power over any proposed overhaul of BuzzFeed’s board, according to The New York Times.

Ramaswamy, who has thrown his support behind Trump in the 2024 election, wants BuzzFeed to scan “across the political and cultural spectrum” for talent.

Ramaswamy proposed that BuzzFeed reach out to prominent media commentators such as Carlson, Barkley and Maher.

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BuzzFeed founder and CEO Jonah Peretti has rebuffed Ramaswamy’s demands. Getty Images for BuzzFeed Inc.

“Cutting around the edges will not work,” Ramaswamy wrote in the letter. “You require a complete, ground-up re-think of every single piece of content being produced at the company.”

“Stay tuned,” Tricia McLaughlin, a spokesperson for Ramaswamy, told The Post when asked for additional comment on Tuesday.

Maher, the host of HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” is a former comedian and actor who has carved out a niche as a political commentator.

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Ramaswamy wants BuzzFeed to hire popular media personalities such as NBA commentator Charles Barkley. Getty Images for Warner Bros. Discovery

Carlson, the former Fox News prime time star, formed his own media outlet that includes a streaming talk show available to subscribers.

Barkley, the retired basketball Hall of Famer turned commentator, is a co-host of the popular “Inside the NBA” studio show on TNT.

But all indications are that the NBA will turn its back on TNT parent company Warner Bros. Discovery and grant broadcast rights to NBCUniversal when its television contract expires at the end of next season — meaning that “Inside the NBA” will wrap up its decades-long run in a year from now.

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Aaron Rodgers, the Jets quarterback who has generated buzz with his podcast interviews, was also mentioned by Ramaswamy as a possible hire by BuzzFeed. Bill Kostroun/New York Post

In light of the uncertainty surrounding TNT’s relationship with the NBA, Barkley’s future has been the subject of speculation.

Rodgers, the Super Bowl-winning quarterback who is in the twilight of his career with the New York Jets, has generated buzz with his appearances on Pat McAfee’s popular podcast.

The NFL star reportedly was in the running to be Robert F. Kennedy, Jr’s vice presidential candidate.

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Bill Maher, the actor-comedian turned political commentator, hosts a podcast as well as a show on HBO. Getty Images

The Post has sought comment from BuzzFeed, Ramaswamy, Maher, Barkley, Rodgers and Carlson.

As of Tuesday, BuzzFeed was trading at just shy of $3 a share — a far cry from the $40 a share that it boasted just three years ago.

Earlier this month, BuzzFeed reported a first-quarter loss of $35.7 million, or 72 cents per share, on revenue of $44.8 million.

Advertising revenue fell 22%, while content revenue declined 19% and the company is projecting a worsening revenue situation.

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Ramaswamy urged BuzzFeed to hire former Fox News prime time star Tucker Carlson. Getty Images

BuzzFeed has struggled to prop up sales since it went public in 2021.

In late 2022 job cuts began rolling out with the company citing a poor digital advertising environment, then early last year announced that it was shutting down its Pulitzer Prize winning digital media outlet BuzzFeed News.

Peretti said in a memo to staff at the time that in addition to the news division, layoffs would take place in its business, content, tech and administrative teams.

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