AOL Acquires The Huffington Post for $315 Million

BlogHer Original Post

According to TechCrunch, AOL announced this morning that it purchased The Huffington Post for $315 million dollars. But don't worry -- Arianna Huffington isn't going anywhere. This deal is partly about buying a ready-made brand, but also about acquiring the talent that makes Huffington Post one of the top-read sites on the Internet. As Tim Armstrong states on TechCrunch (another AOL acquisition):

“Our only thing when we do acquisitions,” says Armstrong, “the price has to be fair, it has to fit the strategy, and the entreprenurs have to stay."

The Huffington Post has been pulling in "25 million unique monthly visitors," according to its press release. Up until this point, those numbers came from people buying into Arianna Huffington's vision. The question is, will she be able to deliver on a larger scale and keep all of those readers with AOL now behind her financially?


DALLAS, TX - FEBRUARY 05: Co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington poses with AOL at the Maxim Party Powered by Motorola Xoom at Centennial Hall at Fair Park on February 5, 2011 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for AOL)


As the press release on The Huffington Post states,

As part of the transaction, Arianna Huffington, The Huffington Post's co-founder and editor-in-chief, will be named president and editor-in-chief of 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.

This acquisition is also part of AOL's overall vision, seen with recent sites such as the hyperlocal Patch. According to PC Magazine:

"Our goals for 2011 included a massive expansion at the local level, launching on the global scene, starting with Brazil, and doing a lot more on the woman's space," she [Huffington] said. AOL will help accomplish that, particularly its localized Patch brand, which Huffington said will boost coverage during the 2012 elections.

Twitter lit up with the news:

AOL to Buy Huffington Post; Tim Armstrong says "1 + 1 will equal 11" (NYTimes) http://nyti.ms/g3QFHN Really? That wasn't my experience.less than a minute ago via bitly

Note to Huffington writers: there's a lot less glamor writing for AOL for freeless than a minute ago via web

AOL purchased The Huffington Post uniting a dinosaur and a fame whore to create little more than an eye sore.less than a minute ago via web

Thank you Arianna Huffington, for devaluing the work of independent political bloggers. Hope you enjoy your $315Million. No love, lizaless than a minute ago via statusnet at lizasabater.com

Let's hope they don't make too many changes RT @TorontoStar: AOL to buy The Huffington Post for $315 million http://bit.ly/g1yGMKless than a minute ago via TweetDeck

So Arianna Huffington is now Mike Arrington's boss? I see AOL plans to anchor its turnaround on a forthcoming internal reality show.less than a minute ago via TweetDeck

guess AOL is serious about this whole content thing...... http://bit.ly/eU4qAmless than a minute ago via TweetDeck

AOL acquires Huffington Post. What's next? Polaroid going to acquire Flickr?less than a minute ago via TweetDeck

What are your thoughts? Do you read the Huffington Post? Think this will make the site better? Worse?

Melissa writes Stirrup Queens and Lost and Found. Her novel about blogging is Life from Scratch.

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