Two months ago, CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker dismissed two leading, young-skewing digital news sites, saying, “I don’t think Vice and BuzzFeed are legitimate news organizations. They are native advertising shops. We crush both of them.”
This week, CNN, the crusher, made its boldest digital move yet by hiring away one of BuzzFeed’s most prolific scoop artists, Andrew Kaczynski. The news organization also hired Kaczynski’s team of researchers including deputy politics editor Kyle Blaine, and reporters Nate McDermott and Christopher Massie.
“We’re clearly not your grandfather’s CNN,” said Andrew Morse, evp of editorial for CNN U.S.
Indeed, CNN has staffed up its politics and media beats over the past year, pulling from the ranks of Politico, The New York Times and now BuzzFeed.
All of this leads to loads of curiosity surrounding CNN’s hiring of Kaczynski and his team.
“I think this has been a mixed bag of a political season for CNN,” said Rick Edmonds, Poynter Institute’s media business analyst. “Getting a fresh unit with a fresh approach and a little younger and harder edge to them probably makes sense.”
He added, “CNN has tremendous audience reach, but the game keeps changing.”
Kaczynski made his CNN debut late Wednesday with a report on two more videos of Donald Trump interacting with Playboy Playmates.
Meanwhile, BuzzFeed has made some changes as well. In January two…
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