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Politico Loses Powerhouse Ben Smith

BuzzFeed has swooped in and stolen Politico‘s Ben Smith, reports NYT‘s The Decoder and a number of other New York outlets. The company announced the news today. He will be Editor-in-Chief and responsible for hiring several new reporters. This has to sting. Only a few weeks back Smith plunged into media reporting and Politico did away with its “On Media” blog entirely.

Smith told FBDC: “I wasn’t looking — I love my job, and POLITICO the best place in the galaxy to be a political reporter. This was just too cool an opportunity to pass up.”

The NYT reports that Smith’s byline on political stories will remain exclusive to Politico throughout the presidential election. He’ll also be a weekly columnist. Politico Editor-in-Chief John Harris spoke favorable of Smith in the report, saying he anticipated this could happen someday.

An excerpt:

“‘As editor in chief, Mr. Smith will hire more than a dozen reporters right away, said Jonah Peretti, who founded BuzzFeed with Kenneth Lerer,’and then we will keep growing from there. The reporters will be scoop generators, Mr. Peretti said. ‘By breaking scoops and drawing attention,’ he added, they will help increase traffic and, by extension, advertising sales.”

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