HuffPo Bought By AOL

(3 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

This morning’s news says that beleaguered, dinosaur of dial up AOL has bought Huffington Post and made the doyenne of digital, Arianna, an executive.  Here’s the news from the New York Times:

The two companies completed the sale Sunday evening and announced the deal just after midnight on Monday. AOL will pay $315 million, $300 million of it in cash and the rest in stock. It will be the company’s largest acquisition since it was separated from Time Warner in 2009.

The deal will allow AOL to greatly expand its news gathering and original content creation, areas that its chief executive, Tim Armstrong, views as vital to reversing a decade-long decline.

Arianna Huffington, the cable talk show pundit, author and doyenne of the political left, will take control of all of AOL’s editorial content as president and editor in chief of a newly created Huffington Post Media Group. The arrangement will give her oversight not only of AOL’s national, local and financial news operations, but also of the company’s other media enterprises like MapQuest and Moviefone.

Meanwhile, the bloggers at HuffPo, I’m told, the ones who provide the “original content creation” that was just sold, don’t get paid.  Correct me if I’m wrong.  And in an email to the bloggers this morning, Arianna told them that things would remain the same:

The HuffPost blog team will continue to operate as it always has. Arianna will become editor-in-chief not only of HuffPost but of the newly formed Huffington Post Media Group, which will include all of AOL’s content sites, including Patch, Engadget, TechCrunch, Moviefone, PopEater, MapQuest, Black Voices, and Moviefone.

Together, our companies will have a combined base of 117 million unique U.S. visitors a month — and 250 million around the world — so your posts will have an even bigger impact on the national and global conversation. That’s the only real change you’ll notice — more people reading what you wrote.

Far from changing the Huffington Post’s editorial approach, our culture, or our mission, it will be like stepping off a fast-moving train and onto a supersonic jet. We’re still traveling toward the same destination, with the same people at the wheel, and with the same goals, but we’re now going to get there much, much faster.

So my initial impression– I’m sure we’ll all have time to think about this today– is that once again the writers, the bloguer@s like you and me get to continue to tickle their keyboards and bang their heads on their monitors for free, while they create all of the “content” and the money, and it is huge money this time, will not find its way into their pockets.  Not a sou.

The other point has to do with consolidation of media and control of content.  The more consolidation the fewer outlets with potentially different points of view.  Consolidation of media is the opposite of creating a free, multiplicity of views.


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  1. You have nothing to lose but your keyboards.

    Thanks for reading.

  2. Howard Fineman wrote a suck-up panegyric about this sale for… the Huffington Post, and called it “Going There.”

    My best teacher at Columbia was a man with a sly grin, a razor wit and a gift for Delphic utterances. He told us that journalism had one mission and one method: “to go there.”

    But that’s exactly what won’t happen, because HuffPo doesn’t buy you a ticket to Timbuktu or even Petaluma, and what passes for “reporting” is bullshit based on bullshit based on whatever pitiful little flow of info emanates from whoever was already there.

    Or maybe Fineman thinks he’s next in line as a foreign correspondent at one of HuffPo’s non-existent bureaus in Paris or Istambul or Timbuktu.  

  3. Huffpost sold for $315,000,000.00.  1% of that is $3.5 million.  If they took the $3.5 million and divided it up amount say 1,000 bloggers (actually I doubt there are more than 400) with nothing more, everyone of them would receive $3,500, which isn’t much, but at least expresses “thank you” for providing content AND helping me make a real haul.  Is that gonna happen?  Don’t bet the ranch on it.

  4. Given the lameosity of AOL and their Lawrence Welk business model I am most amused!

  5. Give a website your input, research, and work for free and presto you make someone else a $300 millionaire.

    Shit, talk about slave labor.

    The masters in the South didn’t have it this good.  They actually had to pay for their slaves and their room, board and health care.

    Ariana gets her slaves for free.

    I am just wondering how many will rebel and post no more.

    I am boycotting, not that I post there that much anyway.

    Ever since it went all People Magazine on us, I haven’t much cared to visit.

    Time to blog downsize and stick to the small boards — not that I wouldn’t mind making Mom a few million.

  6. to sell more phantoms in the phantomsphere, making something out of nothing a new American artform. DKOS, MSNBC, Huff Post, Fox etc. are just marketing platforms to sell insurance, fast food, cell phones and the lastest movie that looks like all the other latest movies. Americans can eat, be entertained and talk about it to each other ad nauseum. And if they have a lot of insurance they can feel proud that they’ve reached the latest pinnacle of advanced thought: Real Americans don’t have bad luck. So suck it up, as there is no success without spending your money to guarantee feeling good about the future. If the present is fvcked up, it’s just a sign from god that a new day is dawning and that a little pain and suffering is good medicine.    

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