Monday, February 7, 2011

American Online Buys The Huffington Post

Via Insty.

Does this mean that the Huffington Post will now be mailed to your house on DVD?

In one of the biggest digital publishing deals in recent memory, AOL has agreed to pay $315 million for the Huffington Post, the pioneering web-only newspaper co-founded by Arianna Huffington.

The deal is AOL CEO Tim Armstrong's latest and boldest attempt to transform the declining company from one that helped millions of people get onto the internet through dial-up connections to one that informs and entertains them in a broadband world, or as he called it, a "new American media company."
[. . .]
AOL's Patch unit, a series of hyper-local news sites, will be folded into Huffington Post, which has long sought to expand its local-content strategy. Local advertising has become a closely watched sector given the growth of locally focused startups such as Foursquare and Groupon. AOL made new investments in Patch this past year, expanding into 775 towns across the U.S. Each town has its own website with typically one editor and a handful of freelancers, a content-production model similar to the Huffington Post, which runs on an army of more than 6,000 unpaid bloggers and a paid staff of 88 editors and writers, all posing more than 600 articles a day. [Bold mine]

Those 6000 unpaid bloggers won't see a penny for that 300 million either. No word if David Epstein-- noted practitioner of incest-- would still be welcome at the AOL/Huffington Post.

The Purple Avenger links to this about Tim Armstrong in the Washington Post:

The New York-based company posted a net loss of $782.5 million, or $7.42 per diluted share, for 2010, compared with a profit of $248.8 million the year before. Total revenue slid 26 percent from $3.2 billion in 2009 to $2.4 billion last year.

Financial results for the fourth quarter painted a brighter picture, with a profit of $66.2 million, or 60 cents per diluted share. That bested Thomson Reuters analysts' estimates of 46 cents per diluted share.

During a conference call Wednesday morning, AOL chief executive Tim Armstrong reiterated his position that "2011 is the year we stop working on the turnaround and start working on the comeback."[Bold mine]

Which leads to the obvious question, just were did AOL get the money to buy this?

The last word goes to Da Tech Guy who has this:

There is one side thought that instantly comes to mind however. When you are buying something like the HuffPo you are not only buying the structure and the “writers” so to speak, you are also buying the commentators.


  1. Re: your opening question, I think you're confusing AOL with Netflix. If Netflix had bought HuffPo, I'd be worried; as it is, I bet this deal shorten's HuffPo's lifespan.

  2. it might not have happened to everyone but it is a dated joke..

    I use to get a CD ROM or DVD in the mail once a month or so with a free subscription to AOL on it.. 30 days or hundred hours or something else like that..

    Usually, I would toss the disc and save the case for other discs I needed.