AOL buying Huffington Post for $315 million
Co-founder Arianna Huffington to lead AOL content efforts
AOL Monday announced it has agreed to buy the Huffington Post for $315 million, propelling co-founder Arianna Huffington into a new role as president and editor-in-chief of a group overseeing all AOL content.
The surprise announcement was made shortly after midnight in a news release published on the Huffington Post website.
"The acquisition of The Huffington Post will create a next-generation American media company with global reach that combines content, community, and social experiences for consumers," said Tim Armstrong, Chairman and CEO of AOL said in the news release. "Together, our companies will embrace the digital future and become a digital destination that delivers unmatched experiences for both consumers and advertisers."
"This is truly a merger of visions and a perfect fit for us," said Huffington. "The Huffington Post will continue on the same path we have been on for the last six years — though now at light speed — by combining with AOL.”
AOL said it will fund the purchase largely in cash. The Huffington Post was founded in 2005 by Huffington and Chairman Kenneth Lerer, who own the company with other investors. The deal, which requires government approval, is expected to close by early in the second quarter.
The Huffington Post has gained prominence with its liberal approach to the news, attracting high-profile contributors from the worlds of politics and media along with 25 million monthly visitors. Combined with AOL’s vast network of properties, including Engadget, TechCrunch, MapQuest and the Patch collection of local news websites, the new group will reach 117 million unique visitors a month in the United States and 270 million worldwide, the companies said.
AOL’s own news Web sites like Politics Daily and Daily Finance are likely to disappear when the deal is completed, and many of the writers who work for those sites will become Huffington Post writers, the New York Times reported, citing people with knowledge of the deal.
"By uniting AOL and The Huffington Post, we are creating one of the largest destinations for smart content and community on the Internet,” Huffington said.
The Huffington Post employs more than 200 people, the Times reported. AOL last year eliminated close to 2,500 positions, roughly a third of its staff.