Robert Chesley

AOL Splurges For Huffington Post

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According to the New York Times, AOL buys up popular blog Huffington Post.

This is a major move that will see all of AOL’s news content be put under the Huffington Post banner. With co-founder Arianna Huffington in charge of the entire operation, here is what she had to say about it.

At the first meeting of our senior team this year, I laid out the five areas on which I wanted us to double down: major expansion of local sections; the launch of international Huffington Post sections (beginning with HuffPost Brazil); more emphasis on the growing importance of service and giving back in our lives; much more original video; and additional sections that would fill in some of the gaps in what we are offering our readers, including cars, music, games, and underserved minority communities.

Around the same time, I got an email from Tim Armstrong (AOL chairman and CEO), saying he had something he wanted to discuss with me, and asking when we could meet. We arranged to have lunch at my home in LA later that week. The day before the lunch, Tim emailed and asked if it would be okay if he brought Artie Minson, AOL’s CFO, with him. I told him of course and asked if there was anything they didn’t eat. “I’ll eat anything but mushrooms,” he said.

The next day, he and Artie arrived, and, before the first course was served — with an energy and enthusiasm I’d soon come to know is his default operating position — Tim said he wanted to buy The Huffington Post and put all of AOL’s content under a newly formed Huffington Post Media Group, with me as its president and editor in chief.

It looks like AOL will spend roughly $315 million dollars when all is said and done to acquire them. Let me be the first here to say, AOL if you want to drive a truck load of money over to us for our blog, [email protected] will gladly entertain any offers.

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