BuzzFeed to Open Washington, D.C. Bureau, Hires Two Reporters

BuzzFeed hired D.C. veteran John Stanton as bureau chief and Chris Geidner to cover LGBT political affairs

Gone are the days when BuzzFeed was a mere aggregator of social-savvy click candy, its verticals dominated by user-shared memes and animal pictures.

A day ago, the curator of all things viral announced it would team with the New York Times to produce video coverage of the Democratic and Republican national conventions. 

Now, the burgeoning political gazette is opening its first bureau in Washington, D.C., the company announced Tuesday.

Since hiring Politico's Ben Smith earlier this year, the site has built a robust team of political reporters, scooping up Village Voice's Rosie Gray and Rolling Stone's Michael Hastings (remember that Gen. Stanley McChrystal debacle?) in a hiring spree the envy of any print newspaper. 

Also read: New York Times, BuzzFeed Team Up for Presidential Conventions

BuzzFeed named Roll Call's John Stanton, a Capitol Hill reporter since 1997, the bureau chief, starting July 9. 

Rounding off the now eight-reporter political team is Chris Geidner, a political editor at Metro Weekly, a Washington-based LGBT affairs newsmagazine, who will serve as a senior political reporter focusing on the battle of gay marriage and rights.

This marks a milestone in BuzzFeed's steady, if rapid, rise as a chronicle of national politics.

Its verticals, once labeled by reactionary phrases like "OMG," "LOL" and "Win," now feature "Politics," "Tech," and, in keeping with its innately Internet campiness, "Animals."

After hiring Smith as editor-in-chief in December 2011, CEO Jonah Perretti (pictured) went on a hiring binge, fueled by the new-found philosophy that breaking substantive news stories was more important to BuzzFeed's business model than aggregating links. 

"Social media was evolving quickly beyond kittens and BuzzFeed is evolving along with it. And it turns out that news scoops are inherently social content," he wrote last month. "Telling people something NEW is a great strategy if you want people to share your content."