Monday, February 7th, 2011
22

AOL + HuffPo: What Does It Mean?

AOL's purchase of the Huffington Post for $315 million is fascinating. It comes directly on the heels, for one thing, of a Goldman Sachs assessment issued last week, with a "neutral" rating and the headline "still waiting for the promised turnaround." (It notes that AOL's ad revenue was down 27% and 29% from the previous year in quarters three and four.) You spoke a little soon, Goldman Sachs! Now AOL has inventory to sell! And HuffPo has content from elsewhere to suck in to sell against! What a morning—Arianna Huffington and AOL honcho Tim Armstrong are touching each other! AOL's publicist and Arianna's publicist are integrating! Let's look deeper!


It's almost like AOL is just a conduit through which middle American money passes to coastal elites.Mon Feb 07 12:43:18 via web

Business
First, the money! Huffpo took in $30 million in 2010, give or take, with 203 employees. They expect to make $60 million in 2011. (Outside investment in the company to date has been $37 million.) Meanwhile? AOL's local news network-thing, Patch, is going to cost AOL $160 million in 2011.

For comparison to some other media organizations?


FYI total operating budget of NPR and PRI is less than $12 million … HuffPo = 26 x larger, still no non-endowment original reportingMon Feb 07 05:15:24 via web

What's rather shocking is that the New York Times said of this purchase that AOL is "betting on news." Why an actual news-gathering organization thinks that is bizarre. They have confused content with news.

Editorial
Arianna Huffington: editor in chief! She is supposedly "moving to New York," and will be the honcho of the "Huffington News Group." This, among other things, makes her the boss of Michael Arrington at Techcrunch and Joshua FruhlingerTopolsky [Ed Note: LOL! Crazy morning, crazy name substitution!] at Engadget—as well as of Black Voices, Mapquest and Moviephone!


How long till the first Arrington/Huffiington throwdown? I give it two weeks.Mon Feb 07 05:34:59 via web

Right? It's a rich new world for intrepid media reporters.

Context
The second big media merger in recent months, after the wild mating of The Daily Beast with Newsweek, this precedes an expected and very strange forthcoming merger, we hear rumors, between one long-time (and long-suffering) large website with an unlikely new owner. This unbridled content-world mergermania will most likely strengthen the new companies—except in the cases where one party becomes a giant stone around another's neck. (A potential outcome for The Daily Beast with Newsweek, sure! Far less so than for HuffOL. AOLHuff. I don't know—please work on that.) On a smaller level, one that we care about: all these mergers will most likely put a fair number of people out of work. Oh well, brave new world.


Finally, Arianna's longstanding AOL email address comes in handy. #seriouslyshestillusesitMon Feb 07 05:47:46 via Twitter for iPhone

That is a true thing.

We'll give our own publisher the last word.


AOL just bought HuffPo, so I guess AOL doesn't have to make its own content farm now (bc they just bought one, in case you didn't get that).Mon Feb 07 06:06:27 via web

22 Comments / Post A Comment

Now scroll back up to the top graphic and tell me how many of those websites you've actually used in the past five years.

john.rambow (#703)

Huh: readers' "ability to leave comments on Huffington Post news articles and blog posts and to share them on Twitter and Facebook has been a major reason the site attracts so many readers. "

jfruh (#713)

Honestly, if the numbers HuffPo puts out are true, then something like 1 in 4 pageivews results in an interaction of some sort (a comment posted, or a share on a social media site) which is fucking amazing for a site that size.

Lockheed Ventura (#5,536)

I think Nick Denton will be pissed over this. Just shows that Arianna Huffington "gets it". And by "getting it", I mean she is making lots of money.

gregorg (#30)

You must have Denton confused with Jason Calacanis.

At AOL's HuffPo revenue multiple, the profitable Gawker which actually pays its staff is worth $900 million.

Lockheed Ventura (#5,536)

Gawker is profitable, but at this point, Huffington has made more money in the blog game than Denton has.

IBentMyWookie (#133)

Take heart: Geocities will make an offer to you guys any day now.

hockeymom (#143)

Gawker has a new look this morning. So much going on, on the internets.

Abe Sauer (#148)

"if the deal gains regulatory approval." bwahahahaha

jfruh (#713)

This, among other things, makes her the boss of Michael Arrington at Techcrunch and Joshua Fruhlinger at Engadget…

AT LAST, my life is important enough to covered on the Awl! …oh, wait, fuck, it's the other Joshua Fruhlinger. God damn it.

…this precedes an expected and very strange forthcoming merger, we hear rumors, between one long-time (and long-suffering) large website with an unlikely new owner.

Yes, it's true. My blog/Mary Worth fan site is going to be purchased by eBay for $1.5 million. All of our Mark Trail merchandise will be available at Buy It Now! prices. SYNERGY!

Will the commenter area still be known as the Steve Canyon?

NickDouglas (#2,186)

I have no comment, now and forever, except to say OH GOD ARIANNA I'M SORRY FOR VALLEYWAG. FOR ALL OF IT.

Andrew Piccone (#7,185)

I'm so glad HuffPostDivorve and AutoBlog are now under the same roof. This is a great day for everyone, everywhere.

gregorg (#30)

Cross-promotions of a 15-pg slideshow on "Who Gets The Car?" in 3, 2, 1…

Matt (#26)

That alt text is really all anyone needs to know.

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

What's rather shocking is that the New York Times said of this purchase that AOL is "betting on news." Why an actual news-gathering organization thinks that is bizarre.

I witnessed this all the time in J-school; it's good old-fashioned wishful thinking. If at some point you have earnestly referred to yourself as "a newspaperman," you're guaranteed to want to take any action by anyone vaguely associated with the big scary monolith that is New Media and cram it into the Betting On News narrative. Essentially:

If New Media Giant AOL Is Betting On News, Our Industry Has A Bright And Prosperous Future!

[Insert "(lol)" wherever in that sentence you please.]

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

Or, more succinctly, "Maybe AmericAriannaLine will give me a job."

IBentMyWookie (#133)

Based solely on his bone structure, I don't trust this Armstrong fellow.

Dave Chen (#8,973)

Can someone explain to me how it is AOL is still alive and has money to purchase things?

mgw (#89)

My parents do their part monthly.

Clip Arthur (#2,024)

I seriously think this has something to do with it. That $9.95-ish amount per month adds up.

Makes me want to come up with some subscription based service that the olds can sign up for, forget they have and I get to roll in that dough!

ehcotton (#358)

Robot Insurance?

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