What BuzzFeed Radio and HuffPost Live Mean Within the Media Cosmos

#30DaysofContent Update
August is nearly half over and for my #30DaysofContent Challenge, I’ve written three posts (womp womp). If it counts, I did write this post for The Content Strategist How to Respond When Your Content Strategy Comes Under Fire about the recent McSweeney’s/BuzzFeed exchange a few weeks ago.

Speaking of BuzzFeed, today is the debut of BuzzFeed Radio, a live, weekly, call-in show on SiriusXM where BuzzFeed editors Jack Moore (@BuzzFeedJack) and Whitney Jefferson (@twitney) “will dissect, discuss and offer a behind-the-scenes look at the inspiration, reaction and creative process behind the week’s biggest viral sensations” according to a press release on BuzzFeed. BuzzFeed Radio will launch on Tuesday, August 14 at 6:00 pm ET on SiriusXM Stars Too (channel 104).

In college I was a dj and producer for Hofstra’s WRHU. If you can believe it, the djs for the indie and experimental shows were NOT the popular kids in the school cafeteria. It was the kids who either woke up at the crack of dawn or forced a class-free window between 3 and 6 pm every afternoon in order to report on traffic that were the shining stars. This pattern of being a loser amongst nerds is nothing new. As a member of my high school’s dance team, I had to go to band camp every summer and could barely hold my own over the guy who played “Seven Nation Army” incessantly on his bass and the drum line.

However, I digress. The point is that back in college, whether I was at the radio station at 3 am or taking a class on media relations, it was drilled into my head that radio was dying and would have no place in the media industry. BuzzFeed Media is a company/Internet darling who is paving the way in branded, viral content that still provides social commentary, so I was surprised to hear the announcement of this new call-in radio show. How old school.

BuzzFeed Managing Editor Scott Lamb explains ““We’re thrilled to launch BuzzFeed Radio on SiriusXM; we know we’re on your computer screens at work and now we’re taking over your cars on the way home. The way you react to and share a BuzzFeed story with your friends is the same emotional reaction someone has when they call into the radio. Our commenters are like radio’s callers so working with SiriusXM just feels really organic,” Lamb said.

As BuzzMedia has expanded it’s reach by launching BuzzFeed Radio, acquiring Spin Magazine (which will be no longer), and launching a political bureau in D.C., the evolution of Internet companies becoming media networks is a complete role reversal from when networks were competing with people’s desire  to digest a majority of their news online. With HuffPost Live, Huffington Post’s new “never-ending news talk show on the Internet”,  and weekly magazine Huffington, it appears the online news site is taking the same strategy to expand to different mediums.

BuzzFeed’s and Huffington Post’s recent launches shows how the Internet is not going to be the end all be all for disseminating news. It’s an acknowledgement that people cannot and will not  change their preferences overnight. There will always be an audience to reach, whether through a radio show, magazine, network, blog, community boards, hot lines, carrier pigeons, etc.

I’m interested in seeing how both companies continue to expand and how credible their content will be. Brian Stelter from New York Times views HuffPost Live as more chatter than reporting “Along with the hosts and the viewer guests, the network will feature The Huffington Post’s writers and editors. What it will not have is traditional reporters in the field, preferring mostly to talk about the news rather than gather it independently. Talking tends to be cheaper than reporting.”

How does Brian Stelter get away with being snarky in the New York Times?

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