February 25, 2013
Zeke Miller Zeke Miller

Here’s a shocker for tens of thousands of people:

 

 

The notion of Zeke Miller taking a break for anything doesn’t make a lot of sense. He worked so constantly that when his editors demanded he take a few days off, he’d squeak out one, then return to the grind.

Whether he was burying my RSS feed, back when he was at Business Insider, or banging out one of his 81,003 tweets to 42,162 followers as BuzzFeed’s White House guy, Miller, it seemed, couldn’t be separated from the news. He was among the first people that BuzzFeed editor Ben Smith contacted in turning the site into a political news mill.

It’s unclear what precipitated his departure from BuzzFeed. The Erik Wemple Blog has pushed him on this front over the past few days, after rumors surfaced about his potential departure. Miller responded with these e-mailed thoughts over the weekend:

-I’m eternally grateful to Ben and BuzzFeed for the opportunity to do what I’ve been doing for the past 14 months. My first day was spent on an early morning flight to Des Moines since I’ve been to more than 30 states and two countries to report for BuzzFeed. They put a boatload of trust in me sending me to the White House after the campaign, and it’s been a pleasure.
-It’s the right time for me to leave BuzzFeed career-wise, and it speaks nothing of the talented folks in NY and DC. I’m still finalizing what’s next — but before I get started I’m going to take my first real vacation since I graduated college almost two years ago.

That, of course, isn’t good enough. So we pushed Miller a bit more on the matter this afternoon, a session in which the 23-year-old showed how much he’s learned from the politicians he has been covering. He referred to BuzzFeed as a “great learning opportunity” and said that he’s “down here in D.C. trying to break into the market a bit more.” He moved south from New York after the November elections.

Break into the market a bit more? But BuzzFeed is among the highest-profile political sites on the Internet right now. Leaving BuzzFeed could well mean retreating from the market a bit more — right, Miller? “I don’t want to get ahead of it too much,” responded Miller, referring to his next move. “BuzzFeed did a great job of giving me experience and exposure on the campaign trail. Now I’m just looking to build on that some more.”

Asked whether journo-disagreements contributed to the move, Miller responded that the differences between him and his editors were “nothing beyond the standard give and take. … The reasons are very much my own….I’m leaving; it happens.”

BuzzFeed editorial boss Smith declined to get into the Miller departure, instead passing along a memo to staff in which he credited Miller for nailing great stories on the 2012 campaign, including “his amazing timeline of the Obama Administration’s attempt to supress [sic–c’mon, Ben Smith!] news of an Afghanistan trip to the election-night ‘Welcome to Liberal America‘ piece he took the lead on.” Miller is one of the “great stars of his generation,” wrote Smith.

TPM’s Evan McMorris-Santoro will slide into Miller’s slot as White House correspondent. Smith’s memo failed to acknowledge the hyphen in McMorris-Santoro’s last name and credited him for “being the first reporter to note Todd Akin’s “legiimate [sic—Smith!!!!] rape” comments.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.
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