US-based viral content site BuzzFeed has hired Simon Crerar as its Australian Editor, Mumbrella can reveal.
Crerar is currently the visual story editor for News Corp Australia and will be responsible for building BuzzFeed’s existing Australian audience with more local content.
“Australia — with its humour and beauty and sense of the absurd and love of the social web — is basically BuzzFeed nation already, and we’ve long valued our readers and community members down under, ” said Ben Smith, BuzzFeed’s editor-in-chief.
Buzzfeed’s move to Australia was first revealed, by Encore, in late May with the company saying it initially wanted to three editorial staff focused on catering to an Australian audience.
“Simon is a passionate journalist and social web native with an unusual grasp of the visual language of the social web. Simon has a great sense both for news and the stimulating shareable content beloved by BuzzFeed readers from Los Angeles to Melbourne, and his overwhelming enthusiasm for Australia will be obvious to local readers,” said Smith.
“I’m enormously excited to be spearheading BuzzFeed’s arrival Down Under,” said Crerar. “BuzzFeed’s unique approach to shaping news in the social age is ideally suited to Australia, a nation with the world’s highest rate of Facebook use and a national conversation shaped by Twitter and emerging social media tools.”
The Buzzfeed move comes after the launch of other overseas brands such as The Guardian and Politifact into Australia. Luke McIlveen, editor of News.com.au, told Encore Magazine earlier this week that so-called online invaders had helped make the online competition more fearsome.
“The competition is fierce… Buzzfeed do a wonderful job online and they have a formula that resonates with younger readers. They would absolutely be a competitor to us,” McIlveen told Encore.
BuzzFeed has also expanded into the UK and says its Australian operation will operate as a satellite BuzzFeed team, focusing on the viral mix of entertaining content with additional reporting tailored to an Australian audience.
Prior to joining BuzzFeed, Crerar created shareable content for News Corp’s network of online websites which include The Daily Telegraph, News.com.au and The Herald Sun. Before arriving in Australia he was employed on Fleet Street by The Times and Sunday Times of London.
Crerar will be based in Sydney and begins mid October.
To read this week’s cover story ‘Who is afraid of the Online Invaders’ download the weekly edition of Encore available for iPad and Android tablets. Visit encore.com.au for a preview of the app or click below to download.