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Posts Tagged ‘Buzzfeed’

BuzzFeed Hires First Film Critic

BuzzFeed has hired Alison Willmore as the site’s first film critic. Willmore comes to BuzzFeed from Indiewire, where she served as TV editor since 2012.

Willmore got her start at the Independent Film Channel, where she helped bring blogs, movie reviews, interviews and more to IFC.com. Her work has also appeared in AV Club, Time Out New York and Movieline.

As anything with BuzzFeed goes, Willmore’s work at the site will be focused on driving dialogue. “This isn’t going to be about generating capsule reviews with letter grades; instead, Alison will be writing film criticism that provokes and propels the conversation, both on social media and in life,” said Jace Lacob, entertainment editorial director at BuzzFeed, in a statement. ”And, given her experience with both film and television criticism, I’m thrilled to see just where Alison takes this role and challenges our expectations about the role of the critic in the 21st century.”

Willmore begins March 31 and will report to Lacob and BuzzFeed’s deputy entertainment editor, Jaimie Etkin.

Nick Denton: ‘Our Biggest Competitor in Media is BuzzFeed’

nick_dentonNick Denton, founder of Gawker Media, took to a Gawker Kinja site today to answer questions from readers. It was basically Gawker’s version of Reddit’s popular Ask Me Anything (AMA) series.

Our favorite quote from Denton featured him explaining that “Our biggest competitor in media is BuzzFeed,” because the two companies “represent two very different forces struggling for the soul of Internet media.” Please soak in the irony accordingly.

Below are some other notable moments from Denton’s Q&A.

More on BuzzFeed:

Jonah Peretti’s company is pointless. But he understands the Internet; he manipulates the Facebook ecosystem better than anyone; and he is utterly shameless in his pursuit of viral stories. (Even more shameless than we are, some would say.)

And Buzzfeed is the perfect competitor — highly motivating. It is a fair fight; some earlier rivals like Gothamist required too much puffing up to make a plausible rival. And it’s a meaningful fight, because Gawker Media and Buzzfeed represent two very different forces struggling for the soul of Internet media.

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Esquire Adds Style Editor, BuzzFeed Names Data Editor

Esquire and BuzzFeed have made additions to their teams. Below are the details.

  • Andrew Luecke has been named Esquire.com’s style editor. Luecke joins the magazine from Stylesight.com, where he analyzed the men’s apparel market for clients including Ralph Lauren and Prada.
  • Jeremy Singer-Vine has been named BuzzFeed’s data editor. Singer-Vine comes to the site from The Wall Street Journal, where he worked as a reporter and programmer. “His role at BuzzFeed will be to dig into similarly dense data sets to find the kinds of stories that would otherwise go untold,” reported Digiday.

Morning Media Newsfeed: Flipboard Buys Zite | BBC3 to Go Online-Only | Egypt Tries AJ Staff

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CNN Sells Zite to Flipboard (CNNMoney)
CNN has sold its news reader app, Zite, to Flipboard, a social magazine application. As part of the deal, Flipboard has also teamed up with CNN to launch custom magazines for CNN shows anchored by Fareed Zakaria, Jake Tapper and John King. The deal could be valued as high as $60 million over time, taking into account future advertising revenue, said a source familiar with the deal. TVNewser The sale occurred less than three years after CNN acquired Zite for $20 million. CNN and Flipboard’s partnership will allow CNN to expand its mobile reach and take advantage of Flipboard’s technology and mobile sales strategy. Re/code Zite itself will shut down, but CNN says most of its 20 employees will go to work for Flipboard. Zite CEO Mark Johnson will not be joining them. Forbes / Jeff Bercovici The deal merges two apps that let users aggregate news stories from all over into a single magazine-like experience. Of the two, Flipboard has been considerably more successful: It’s currently ranked No. 5 among free iPad news apps in Apple’s App Store, while Zite is No. 39. Flipboard will absorb the machine-learning technology that Zite uses to personalize news feeds for its users. Mashable The move also divests CNN of one of its most high-profile acquisitions while putting it in front of Flipboard’s users, which according to Johnson number more than 100 million.

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Dumb Survey Results Followed by Even Dumber Reporting

Is a news trail about a shocking “tech terms” multiple-choice survey taken by American consumers on behalf of UK outfit Vouchercloud still valid if:

a) the LA Times reporter who started it all never actually saw the survey?;
b) the methodology and margins-of-error for said survey are completely unknown?;
c) the survey answers – including the headline-grabbing claim that 11% of Yanks answering think HTML refers to a sexually transmitted disease – suggest that many of the alleged two-thousand-plus respondents raced through the questionnaire with carelessness, goofiness, or both?

MatthewWoodTweet

LAT tech reporter Salvador Rodriguez‘s pick-up of a Vouchercloud press release blazed a trail across the Internet Tuesday, most notably as a Drudge link, Romenesko headline of the day, Time item and BuzzFeed pictorial. But some good digging by iMediaEthics managing editor Sydney Smith has led BuzzFeed’s Ryan Broderick, Time‘s Jessica Roy and Romenesko to all post updates. Here is BuzzFeed’s:

BuzzFeedCorrection

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Comcast Courts FCC | Kasell to Retire From NPR | CNN’s Primetime Test

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Comcast Points to NBCU Deal to Convince Regulators (Financial Times)
Comcast is trumpeting its compliance with conditions attached to its 2009 acquisition of NBCUniversal as a model for how to convince regulators to approve its $45.2 billion bid for rival cable operator Time Warner Cable. Variety Comcast launched another prong in its strategy, announcing a pledge to continue offering basic broadband for $9.95 per month to low-income families indefinitely. Effectively, the cable giant is spinning the expanded low-cost Internet Essentials program as one of the key benefits of the proposed deal for Time Warner Cable — despite the fact that post-deal, Comcast would control nearly one-third of U.S. broadband market. CNET Comcast started the Internet Essentials program as part of a voluntary commitment it made to the Federal Communications Commission in order to get its merger with NBCUniversal approved. Back then, the company promised to keep the program up and running for three years. Adweek The program provides eligible low-income families with $9.95/month Internet service, an option to purchase a computer for under $150 and multiple options for digital literacy training. In two and a half years, Comcast has signed up 1.2 million low-income Americans or 300,000 families. Internet Essentials dovetails nicely with President Obama’s ConnectED program to increase digital literacy and the FCC’s recent plan to invest an additional $2 billion over the next two years to support broadband in schools and libraries. Bloomberg Comcast executive VP David Cohen will hold meetings at the FCC through Wednesday, said two agency officials knowledgeable about the plans. Comcast, the largest U.S. cable company, needs approval from the FCC and antitrust officials at the Justice Department for its proposed purchase of New York-based Time Warner Cable, the No. 2 carrier. The Time Warner deal would create “appropriate scale” that enables Comcast to invest in new services, and would create a new national advertiser to increase competition in that market, Cohen said.

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BuzzFeed’s Next Bureau Will Be in Berlin

BuzzFeedLogoAs tipped by Jonah Peretti via Medium and more specifically confirmed this afternoon by New York Business Journal reporter Ben Fischer, the next BuzzFeed bureau will be in Berlin. This will be the ninth such outpost for the website, including NYC headquarters.

There have been some domestic pleas on Twitter today in reaction to the Peretti memo for more presence in U.S. cities like Houston and New Orleans. But the truth is, while BuzzFeed may not have bureau-boots on the ground there and elsewhere, its contributors and writers cover a geographical web that stretches far beyond the company’s official bricks-and-mortar locations.

Peretti added in his memo that Tokyo, Mexico City and Mumbai will follow Berlin in some order. Fischer notes that these are, respectively, the world’s first, third and fifth largest metropolitan areas.

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The New Republic Boosts Sales Team, BuzzFeed Adds Reporter

A couple Revolving Door notes for you today: The New Republic has added two to its sales and marketing team and BuzzFeed has added a criminal justice reporter. Details are below.

  • Erik Carlson and Diana Ryan are joining The New Republic as director of integrated advertising and integrated marketing manager, respectively. Carlson comes to TNR from Say Media, where he served as a sales exec. Ryan most recently served as senior coordinator of content and programming at The Atlantic.
  • Katie J.M. Baker is joining BuzzFeed as a reporter covering criminal justice and legal/social issues in higher education. Baker was most recently a reporter with Newsweek.

Clinton Spokesperson Provides Stupid Answers for BuzzFeed’s Stupid Questions

During a speech on Monday, Hillary Clinton mentioned how she hadn’t driven a car since 1996. A political editor at BuzzFeed thought this comment opened the door to send several stupid follow-up questions to Clinton’s spokesperson, Philippe Reines. Reines then rightfully shot back answers that matched BuzzFeed’s inanity.

Here are some of the questions that BuzzFeed felt were relevant:

  • Has she ever bought something on the Internet?
  • Has she ever eaten Chipotle?
  • Has she used Facebook?

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Wired Puts Jonah Peretti on the Cover

WiredFeb2014CoverIs there, at this point, anything left to learn about BuzzFeed founder Jonah Peretti and the inner workings of his Wonka-esque viral factory? Let’s take a look.

For the February Wired UK cover story, editor David Rowan notes that the conference rooms at BuzzFeed’s new offices at 200 Fifth Avenue are all named in honor of ragingly successful Internet memes like “Princess Monster Truck” and “Grumpy Cat.” There is also mention of The Golden Rules of Shareability, the gobstopper document given to every new BuzzFeed employee.

But the meat of the Wired article is about how BuzzFeed’s evolution has led it to a place where it’s no longer just a matter of the total number of article page-views. If for example a longer-form item is reaching the right niche of readers, it can be deemed a SlamDunk:

“Ben [Smith] drilled into me that if you’re doing something that will get only 50,000 views, that’s fine – as long as our piece is optimized to get all 50,000 who should see it,” says Shani Hilton, deputy executive editor, previously at NBC in Washington, and whose beat now includes tech, LGBT, fashion and sport.

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