BuzzFeed closing Ottawa bureau, shifting Canada editorial focus

Buzzfeed employees work at the company's headquarters in New York January 9, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Online media outlet BuzzFeed said on Tuesday that it is closing its Ottawa bureau as it moves away from covering Canadian political news, in a broader editorial revamp that will also see its Toronto team work more closely with editors in New York.

“With the 2015 Canadian federal election behind us, we are wrapping up our Canadian political coverage,” Scott Lamb, vice president of international editorial, said in a memo to staff that was provided to Reuters by BuzzFeed. He added that BuzzFeed’s Ottawa staff have been offered opportunities with the company in Washington, D.C.

The changes will also mean that Toronto-based staff will now focus on a wider range of global topics, in addition to Canada-focused news.

Toronto writers and other staff will now report to senior editors in New York, according to Lamb’s memo.

The editorial shift comes as the traditional media outlets in Canada are struggling to remain profitable amid declining advertising revenues and competition from online upstarts like BuzzFeed and Mashable.

The online companies have grappled with the balance between covering news and politics and lighter fare like social media, entertainment and lifestyle.

Paul McLeod, BuzzFeed Canada’s politics editor, confirmed on Twitter that he would be leaving Ottawa for a job with BuzzFeed in the U.S. capital.

Reporting by Julie Gordon; Editing by Cynthia Osterman