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BuzzFeed News editor Ben Smith on Tuesday announced a change in the management of the news video department that followed the departure of two key staffers, BuzzFeed News head of video Henry Goldman and supervising producer Jessica Naudziunas.
In a memo obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, Smith wrote, “Their departures are prompting an organizational change that has been in the works for a while: we will be moving from having a single, centralized video team to video groups more directly connected with parts of our news operation.”
The announcement is not part of a larger organizational change in strategy, and the company will be hiring a new head of live video, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.
Goldman told THR that he enjoyed working at BuzzFeed and is looking for his next professional opportunity. Naudziunas said she left the company to pursue other opportunities. “After a year of building the BuzzFeed News distributed content team from the ground up, and developing our incredibly talented live team, I’m focused on my next leadership opportunity in digital media,” she said.
In a statement, BuzzFeed spokesman Matt Mittenthal said: “BuzzFeed News is in the midst of an expansion and strengthening of our video news coverage and programming. We recently brought on Bianca Consunji — former head of video at Bustle — who will inherit a number of responsibilities, as well as Cindy Vanegas-Gesuale, who will produce our brand-new morning show on Twitter. Today’s departures relate to an isolated staffing matter, and we wish Henry and Jess all the best.”
Video is seen as a potential growth area for BuzzFeed News, which will soon launch a morning news show on Twitter called AM to DM.
Last fall, BuzzFeed formally split into two separate divisions, BuzzFeed News (run by Smith) and BuzzFeed Entertainment Group (run by Ze Frank). Goldman was described in a New York Times story about the reorganization as a “protege” of Frank.
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