There’s now one less media outlet navigating the coronavirus pandemic without an editor in chief.
After being without one since since Ben Smith jumped ship for The New York Times at the end of February, BuzzFeed has unveiled Mark Schoofs as the new chief of its news division.
No stranger to the digital company, he created its investigations team in 2014 and has also had stints at The Village Voice, The Wall Street Journal and ProPublica during his 30-year career.
Schoofs, a Pulitzer Prize winner, is currently a visiting professor at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and won’t be completely giving up his teaching gig.
He’ll continue to serve on the faculty at USC Annenberg and has been instrumental in forming a new partnership between BuzzFeed and the school. Beginning this fall, the school will offer one course taught by Schoofs and another taught by BuzzFeed founder and chief executive officer Jonah Peretti. BuzzFeed News will also create an internship program for USC students.
“I’m so excited to welcome Mark back to BuzzFeed, because I know how deeply committed he is to ensuring that BuzzFeed News remains the best place on the internet for free, high-quality news, and reaches even greater heights,” said Peretti.
Schoofs, who will be based in L.A., joins BuzzFeed at a trying time. It was one of the first major news outlets to implement pay cuts due to a coronavirus-related slump in advertising. Pay cuts will be graduated, ranging from 5 percent for those earning less than $64,900 and as much as 25 percent for the company’s top earners while Peretti will forgo his salary for the time being. It is also reportedly trying to offload its German operations.
Other publications without an editor in chief include HuffPost, Harper’s Bazaar, Garage and Elle Decor.
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