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Buzzfeed’s Benny Johnson, the site’s viral politics editor and specialized in list-based articles about political news, was fired over plagiarism. (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)
Buzzfeed’s Benny Johnson, the site’s viral politics editor and specialized in list-based articles about political news, was fired over plagiarism. (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

BuzzFeed to expand Canadian operations Add to ...

BuzzFeed Inc. is expanding in Canada as the online publisher of lists, news and quizzes seeks to boost Web traffic with more targeted content tailored to local tastes.

The website already has marketing staff based in Toronto and will add an editorial team in the city this year, Christina DiRusso, a spokeswoman, said Thursday in an interview.

BuzzFeed, which was founded in 2006, has been rapidly growing in popularity, gaining readers with viral listicles and even an interview with President Barack Obama last month. DiRusso said plans for a Canadian website aren’t set but BuzzFeed typically has separate home pages for different countries that combine global content with local stories. It has offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, Sydney and Hong Hong.

The New York-based company hasn’t ignored its northern neighbor. Recent posts include “21 Reasons You Won’t Want To Visit British Columbia Right Now,” and “11 Insane Photos From A Hair Freezing Contest In Northern Canada.”

Canada’s media landscape is changing. Vice Media Inc. and AOL Inc., who both cater to a younger, online-focused audience, are building new production studios in Toronto.

Traditional newspaper publishers have struggled to appeal to younger audiences at a time when print advertising revenue sinks. The Toronto Star, Canada’s largest-circulation newspaper, said in November it was getting rid of its paywall and would develop a new tablet application.

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