BuzzFeed’s Push Into Business News

Another high profile name from top-tier business media has defected to a new media platform, underscoring the growing importance of these outlets. Peter Lauria of Reuters (Editor-in-Charge of U.S. Technology, Media, and Telecom) was named editor of BuzzFeed’s new business section expected to be launched later this spring. Twitter exploded with the news late on Friday after the Wall Street Journal reported the news. (Full article below and link here.) No details of the business section’s headcount yet, but it’s clear that BuzzFeed has officially started hiring. Our quick takes:

  • This puts some competitive pressure on outlets such as Business Insider and Huffington Post. BuzzFeed generates 14 million unique monthly views versus Huffington Post’s 35 million,Business Insider’s 3.2 million and Yahoo! News’s 50 million. Smaller potential competitors Reddit and Gawker each have 2 million.
  • It’s not clear what tone the content will be, but we expect it to reflects BuzzFeed’s irreverent style.
  • Coverage will likely be heavy on TMT, given Lauria’s background and BuzzFeed’s audience.
BuzzFeed is primarily known for its pop-culture satire (the lists!) and – to a lesser extent – political blogging.   Some news reports have valued the company at $1 billion. The management team boasts former Goggle executives such as Jonah Peretti, BuzzFeed’s CEO and cofounder.   Peretti, an MIT Media Lab grad, co-founded The Huffington Post with Kenneth Lerer, who serves as BuzzFeed’s executive chairman. Other management team members include President and COO Jon Steinberg (formerly of Google) and editor-in-chief Ben Smith (Politico reporter / blogger).

Judith Flynn-Echeverria / Claire M. Currie
March 25, 2013

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