BuzzFeed Promotes Cindy Vanegas-Gesuale to Oversee Film and TV Programming

Former HuffPost Live veteran will “aggressively” pursue new projects, CEO Jonah Peretti says in memo to staff

Last Updated: June 6, 2019 @ 3:19 PM

BuzzFeed is revamping its studio business by putting Cindy Vanegas-Gesuale, its current head of programming at BuzzFeed News, in charge of its TV and film operations, according to a company memo.

Vanegas-Gesuale replaces Lauren Dolgen, who last month left the company to join the Paramount Network. She’s expected to jumpstart its studio business, which has struggled to create projects that gain much traction since its launch in 2014.

BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti said in a staff memo the move comes as the publisher looks to make a mark on a “post-TV world” that’s increasingly dominated by streaming platforms.

“Cindy and the BuzzFeed Studios team will continue to move the current slate forward while aggressively adding in new projects across the company,” Peretti wrote in the memo. “As we look ahead, our strategy with Studios will mirror what we’re doing throughout the larger organization: we’re focusing on what we do best. That means strengthening our focus on developing innovative content for the platforms. Making TV is great, but we’re even more interested in figuring out the future of TV.”

Peretti pointed to “AM to DM,” the company’s live morning show on Twitter, as an example of the digital-friendly content the company wants to pursue moving forward. BuzzFeed currently has several film projects in the works, including two with “It” producer Dan Lin, including a film on the “Dear David” ghost story from BuzzFeed writer Adam Ellis.

Also in development is “Brother Orange” with Warner Bros. that has Jim Parsons attached to star and “From Russia With Blood,” which is in development with George Clooney’s Smokehouse Pictures based on a BuzzFeed News investigation.

Earlier this year, BuzzFeed laid off 15% of its workforce, or about 220 workers, as the company has struggled to meet its revenue goals.

Vanegas-Gesuale’s additional responsibilities were first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.