The editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed News, Ben Smith, plans to step down to join The New York Times as the publication’s top media columnist.
The Times announced Tuesday that Smith will go on to work for the publication’s “Media Equation” column, which gained significant prominence among media industry insiders under David Carr, who passed away in 2015.
Its been the privilege of my life to do this job, in its many iterations, for more than eight years, Smith said in an email to BuzzFeeds staff. The notion that BuzzFeed could play a major role in shaping global news, and the news business from tweets to streaming shows sounded crazy in 2012. Now its just a fact, the product most of all of your hard work, creativity, aggressiveness, and judgement.
It’s been an incredible 8 years @BuzzFeedNews. Here’s the note I just sent to our staff. pic.twitter.com/MawNsWd6V0
Ben Smith (@BuzzFeedBen) January 28, 2020
Previously a writer for Politico, Smith worked to make the formerly pop culture-focused BuzzFeed also more of a source of political coverage and investigative journalism.
The Times editors Dean Baquet, Joe Kahn, and Ellen Pollock said in the Times announcement that Smith would begin work on March 2, calling him “a relentless innovator who helped change the shape of modern journalism.
“Ben not only understands the seismic changes remaking media, he has lived them and in some cases, led them,” the announcement said.
BuzzFeed will soon begin a formal search for its next editor-in-chief, according to sources from the publication.