By Charlie Warzel / @cwarzel
Hey, so wanna be the Managing Editor of the Washington Post? How about a Senior Editor at Rolling Stone? Your chances are better this afternoon than they were last night as the WSJ and BuzzFeed make some monster acquisitions.
This morning BuzzFeed, which has been acquiring high quality talent like nobody’s business, scooped up Doree Shafrir of Rolling Stone to head up culture coverage at BuzzFeed, adding to their list of impressive journalists . BuzzFeed can afford her, too, given their $15.5 million round they raised earlier this January.
A Snippet of the Press Release:
"I’m excited to join the editorial talent that is converging at BuzzFeed,” said Ms. Shafrir. “The site has very quickly become THE place for a new breed of political writer and reporter to work at and I am excited to work with Ben and Scott to continue this momentum in new culture-based verticals.”
We’ve found ourselves mentioning BuzzFeed more and more since mid-December, as they seem to be taking every necessary step to assure they are a complete and total powerhouse in 2012. Without question, it appears BuzzFeed is at least poised to demonstrate a new model for online journalism this year—social sharing blended with a solid, hyper-updated editorial component. BuzzFeed has already gotten a few serious newsy scoops, like McCain’s endorsement of Mitt Romney, while also beating the competition to posts on viral campaign videos and photos. Our projection: With hires like Shafrir, BuzzFeed will only continue to scoop, and out-entertain their rivals as they bleed into more content verticals.
Also, a Washington Post shocker: Post Managing Editor, Raju Narisetti will head back to the Wall Street Journal as managing editor of their Digital Network. This is a huge amount of responsibility which includes (according to MediaPost.com) overseeing “WSJ.com, SmartMoney.com, MarketWatch and the Chinese, Japanese and German-language editions of WSJ.com. Narisetti will also become a deputy managing editor of the paper.”
A Snippet of the Post’s press release demonstrating Raju’s success:
The evidence is in the numbers: The Post’s online traffic has risen sharply in the last two years, with our page views in December up 45% from a year earlier, the number of visitors to our site up 14%, and the time each visitor spends on our site more than double what it was a year ago (according to comScore) – making 2011 our best year ever. We are a leader in the use of social media for delivering news and drawing readers to our site. Our video traffic has tripled in the last two years and our mobile visits doubled in the last year.
At the Post, Narisetti was in charge of striking a balance between their well-established online presence and the print edition, finding ways to drive readership, monetize the digtial content and re-think longterm strategy. Narisetti has some deep roots at the Journal, having worked there for 13 years. Narisetti will be in a better place at the WSJ as they have an established web presence as well as a pay wall that monetizes their content. With a structure in place, Narisetti has room to explore innovative ways to engage readers and build the Wall Street Journal’s digitial community for the foreseeable future. Plus, he’s got loads of responsibility over many successful online properties. This is a big move, and if you care about the future of online, paywall-based journalism, you’ll probably want to keep an eye on what Raju Narisetti is up to in the coming months.
[Lead image via ccconsultingllc.com]