New York, December 12, 2011 – BuzzFeed, the rapidly expanding social media site, has hired pioneering political reporter and blogger Ben Smith as its editor-in-chief, where he will expand editorial coverage, hire talented reporters and launch new content sections.
Ben Smith will join the management team in New York led by Jonah Peretti, co-founder of BuzzFeed and the Huffington Post.
“There is nothing more exciting for journalism and reporting than the social web,” said Mr. Smith. “Social media is what moves a story. It has become the primary way people, from plugged-in insiders to casual readers, get their news. BuzzFeed is the best in the world at distributing content on social sites, and it is a tremendous opportunity to join BuzzFeed — and its millions of readers — to build a new model for high-quality reporting.”
“Social is the new starting point for content sites,” said Mr. Peretti. “Ben and I will build the definitive social publishing site with content that spreads fluidly across Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, StumbleUpon and all other social platforms. In the past year, BuzzFeed has grown from 8 million monthly unique visitors to over 20M and we are excited to continue this growth with Ben leading our editorial team.”
“The baton has been passed from print to the traditional web to social,” said Kenneth Lerer, BuzzFeed Chairman. “Social sites are where everyone is getting their news, entertainment, and information and BuzzFeed’s technology platform, combined with original reporting will accelerate this massive shift.”
Smith, who lives in Brooklyn, will start at BuzzFeed on January 1, 2012.
Smith will maintain his longtime relationship with POLITICO, where he has been a senior political writer for five years and will also write weekly on politics for POLITICO.
“I am thrilled that I’ll continue to be part of POLITICO’s coverage of the 2012 election,” said Smith. “It’s the best place in America to be a political reporter.”
BuzzFeed, a leading social media site featuring the hottest, most social content on the web, has seen record traffic lately, as the world shifts towards social content. More here.
BuzzFeed investors include Softbank, Hearst Interactive, RRE Ventures, Ken Lerer, Ron Conway, Chris Dixon, and John Johnson.
Ben Smith has been a reporter for the New York Sun and New York Observer. He also worked as a political columnist for the New York Daily News. Since 2007, Mr. Smith has worked as a senior political writer for POLITICO. Smith was recently profiled in the Columbia Journalism Review as a new breed of reporter, who merges journalistic values with digital fluency.
BuzzFeed publishes the hottest, most social content on the web to an audience of over 25 million monthly visitors. The company is led by Jonah Peretti, an MIT Media Lab graduate and Huffington Post co-Founder.