Monday, February 07, 2011

AOL buys HuffPost

For a whopping $315 million.

As a (fairly frequent) HuffPost blogger, my cut will be... zero.

Good times.


I really don't know whether this is a good thing or bad thing, but my inclination is to be optimistic.

Kevin Drum writes that it "sounds completely crazy" and that "[t]he odds of this being a good deal for AOL stockholders seem astronomical."

But, honestly, what is AOL these days? I can't remember the last time I visited an AOL website (except for MapQuest) and I can't remember the last time AOL mattered in any meaningful way as a major media outlet. To me, AOL is essentially the Internet for dummies, as unsophisticated as it is useless.

So AOL desperately needed to do something, anything to regain its lost significance. In particular, it needed content, which is what it gets a whole lot of in acquiring HuffPost.

Will the synergy work? Maybe, maybe not, but it's worth a shot, and certainly Arianna is positive about it.

And, what's more, Arianna will have editorial control over all AOL content as head of the new Huffington Post Media Group. Why is this a good thing? Well, because she's on the left, and because the content that appears on HuffPost -- including, of course, my posts -- are for the most part liberal/progressive.

In an age, then, of generally right-wing corporate control of the media, this AOL-HuffPost merger (which is what it is, even if the former is buying the latter) could create a huge liberal/progressive media outlet, much bigger than HuffPo is now. And that, if managed properly, is just the sort of thing we need.

As Steve Benen writes, "this seems like a pretty good deal. The Huffington Post gets an expanded reach, while AOL gets the eyeballs that follow one of the most powerful online news behemoths." And as Arianna herself explains:

By combining HuffPost with AOL's network of sites, thriving video initiative, local focus, and international reach, we know we'll be creating a company that can have an enormous impact, reaching a global audience on every imaginable platform.

Yes, let's hope so. In my own small way, I'm just happy to be a part of it. 


In related news, we're going to learn more about Keith Olbermann's future tomorrow.

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