BuzzFeed splits itself into news, entertainment departments

BuzzFeed employees work at the company's headquarters in New York on Jan 9, 2014.
BuzzFeed employees work at the company's headquarters in New York on Jan 9, 2014. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - Online media outlet BuzzFeed will split itself into two new departments that will focus on news and entertainment, CEO Jonah Peretti wrote in a memo sent to employees.

The move to create two departments - BuzzFeed News and BuzzFeed Entertainment Group - comes at a time when online media companies are grappling with the balance between covering news and politics, and lighter fare like social media, entertainment and lifestyle.

BuzzFeed will integrate some existing groups like the health team and video news into BuzzFeed News, which will be run by Mr Ben Smith, edito- in-chief of BuzzFeed.

"In this new structure, video won't be the job of just one department. Having a single video department in 2016 makes about as much sense as having a mobile department," Mr Peretti said in the memo, a copy of which was made available to Reuters.

BuzzFeed Entertainment Group will now become the umbrella for all entertainment news and will be headed by the president of BuzzFeed Motion Pictures, Mr Ze Frank, who will assume the role of president of BuzzFeed Entertainment.

"Instead of organizing around a format or technology, we will organize our work to take full advantage of many formats and technologies," Mr Peretti said.

The company is best known for online list-based articles and quizzes and is trying to better attract more young Internet-focused audiences who have different consumption patterns from their parents.