Buzzfeed has quietly been hiring like crazy in Silicon Valley, and it’s amassed more than a dozen reporters to become a must-read tech news site under its new editor, Mat Honan.
Honan, who joined Buzzfeed from Wired, most recently hired Nitasha Tiku, who was poached by The Verge from Gawker’s Valleywag just six months ago. Prior to Gawker, Tiku was a writer for the New York Observer’s BetaBeat and New York Magazine’s Daily Intel.
Honan has what appears to be a power team now, but the competition is stiff, with trade publications like Recode and The Information gaining steam, companies like Vox and Business Insider raising gobs of cash, and others like Gigaom shutting down.
Still, over the past few months, Honan has managed to created a 17-person bureau of reporters and lifestyle writers in San Francisco, as well as five tech reporters in New York and Washington, D.C.
Here are all the people who will be trying to make a dent in the ever-crowded tech media space for Buzzfeed in San Francisco:
- Stephanie Lee, who left SF Chronicle in February
- John Paczkowski, who joined Buzzfeed from Recode
- Alex Kantrowitz, who was at Ad Age
- Johana Bhuiyan, who’s been at Buzzfeed for about a year
- Ellen Cushing, who left SF Magazine for Buzzfeed in February
- Caroline O’Donovan, who joined Buzzfeed in March
- Charlie Warzel, who’s a two-year veteran of Buzzfeed
- Joe Bernstein, who is also a two-year Buzzfeed veteran
- Katie Notopolous, who’s known for creating posts that go gangbusters at Buzzfeed
- Brendan Klinkenberg, an entry-level reporter
- Other Buzzfeeders who are now in San Francisco but are working on other sections include Jess Misener, Nicole Nguyen, Michelle Rial, and Mathew Guiver
“From the get go I’ve been trying to hire really hard-working, talented people. We’ve managed to bring on a ton of great reporters, who have been filing killer stories,” Honan told Business Insider in an email. “San Francisco and Silicon Valley genuinely are changing the world. It’s where massive decisions that affect millions and even billions of people are made in very small rooms by handfuls of very powerful people. We should be doing more to examine that, which is what Nitasha is going to focus on.”
Honan and his reporter army have their work cut out for them. Buzzfeed has tried to become a must-read, news-breaking publication before under former Buzzfeed Business editor Peter Lauria. And while it’s succeeded in politics, it has struggled to compete in the tech sector.
Tiku tells Business Insider why she’s banking on Buzzfeed:
“It wasn’t about leaving the Verge. I adored my colleagues and editors there and benefitted from their generosity and patience,” Tiku told Business Insider over GChat.
“Honan just made a very compelling case for his ambitions for Buzzfeed SF. I moved here from New York a year ago because covering Silicon Valley, the ascendancy of the tech industry, and its impact on culture and society is the most engrossing reporting opportunity I’ve faced in the years I’ve spent on this beat. There’s genuine curiosity, confusion, and anxiety about what’s happening here from people who have never heard of Techmeme and aren’t (yet) on a first name basis with Elon Musk. Honan is a beautiful writer and he’s been speaking to those people for years.”