Following its merger with Time Warner in 2001, AOL hasn’t had the best of times. Described by Time Warner’s current CEO Jeff Bewkes as the “biggest mistake in corporate history,” the merger heralded a steep downturn in AOL’s fortunes. It separated from Time Warner in 2009 and has since attempted to reinvent itself as a content provider and the purchase of the Huffington Post is the latest step in that direction.
The $315 million Huffington Post acquisition will see AOL create the The Huffington Post Media Group, which will include all Huffington Post and AOL content, including Engadget, TechCrunch, Moviefone, MapQuest, Black Voices, PopEater, AOL Music, AOL Latino, AutoBlog, Patch, StyleList, and more. The Huff Post is seen as a pioneer in online news content since it was founded by Arianna Huffington and Kenneth Lerer in 2005 and has grown to have 25 million unique visitors a month and is still growing at a rate of 22 percent based on December 2009 figures versus December 2010 figures.
Arianna Huffington will remain on and be given the title of president and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Media Group. “We are fusing a legendary and powerful new media brand with a vibrant, innovative news organization, known for its distinctive voice, a highly engaged audience, an expertise in community-building, and a track record for demystifying the news and putting flesh and blood on the data while drawing our audience into the conversation," said Huffington today.
Content from the Post’s 70 paid staff is augmented by over 6,000 bloggers who provide content for free and among the famous names who have written for the site are Bill and Hillary Clinton, George Clooney, Neil Young, Madonna and Sean Penn. "The acquisition of The Huffington Post will create a next-generation American media company with global reach that combines content, community, and social experiences for consumers," said Tim Armstrong, Chairman and CEO of AOL. "Together, our companies will embrace the digital future and become a digital destination that delivers unmatched experiences for both consumers and advertisers."
Source: Huffington Post