AOL buys Huffington Post for $315 million

posted at 8:48 am on February 7, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Congratulations to Arianna Huffington and her investors, who cashed in big today with a sale to AOL.  The venerable on-line service will pay $315 million to buy the Huffington Post, one of the largest acquisitions in the dot-com era and the largest in the blogosphere:

AOL has agreed to purchase The Huffington Post for $315 million, the two entities announced in a joint news release Monday.

“As part of the transaction, Arianna Huffington, The Huffington Post’s co-founder and editor-in-chief, will be named president and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Media Group, which will include all Huffington Post and AOL content,” the statement said.

The new group will have a combined 117 million unique visitors a month in the United States and 270 million around the world, according to the release, which cited December 2010 data from the marketing research company comScore.

The editorial arrangement seems like a strange decision.  AOL has been careful to give the impression of political balance in their news and opinion offerings on line.  Putting a political activist like Arianna Huffington in charge of all AOL content will upend that balance, and might have a significant number of subscribers and readers heading for the door. The end result might be less a combination of the two readerships and more of a replacement of AOL’s community with that of the HuffPo.

Another strange decision, related to the first, is to rebrand AOL’s content with the Huffington label.  Arianna has done a great job over the last few years in building her brand in the blogosphere, but AOL has one of the oldest and most widely known brands in computing.  Perhaps renaming the content group with the Huffington label was an attempt to keep the partisan direction of HuffPo from damaging AOL’s brand, but if the content shifts under Arianna’s leadership, that won’t help at all.

It should be an interesting transition to watch, though.  None of these oddities takes away from Arianna’s success, either, in building a blogospheric empire and realizing a fortune from it.

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Comment pages: 1 2

Signed up in ’97 and have enjoyed the free, simple-to-use email. But, I think it’s time to go.

I’ll wait and see just how overtly left they’ll be now but I really don’t want my email address associated with anything to do with HuffNPuff so I’m likely gone either way.

Sad. :(

RedNewEnglander on February 7, 2011 at 12:17 PM

You don’t have to subscribe to have an email address… They are free for whoever wants one.

jonknee on February 7, 2011 at 12:21 PM

You did it again, Ed … you run a story about Arianna Huffington, yet the post is accompanied by a picture of Sean Penn. Why?

thirteen28 on February 7, 2011 at 12:36 PM

Let’s wish HuffPuff the same success AOL had with Netscape and all the other stupid purchases they’ve made.

OxyCon on February 7, 2011 at 12:38 PM

Kiss. Of. Death.

Western_Civ on February 7, 2011 at 1:13 PM

Must share your profits with the American workers” — Obama, today at the Chamber of Commerce

Schadenfreude on February 7, 2011 at 1:20 PM

I wonder if anyone is really watching what they are slowly doing to the internet, kill switches,net neutrality, they are sneakily taking over all our means of communicating, and behind all of this is the alliances with George Soros.

He just recently bought 16 million dollars worth of stock in CenturyLink, they were the ones that bought out Qwest, now AOL being run by his good pal and fellow Hungarian Ariana Huffington.

Will be interesting to see if this company suddenly buys AOL.
The ordinary person can’t keep track of all the underhanded and backroom deals that are taking place to destroy this great nation.

concernedsenior on February 7, 2011 at 1:20 PM

jonknee on February 7, 2011 at 12:21 PM

I’ve got family members who’ve were AOL users for that long, have still been using the email… and are dumping it after all these years. Just the thought that Arianna Huff’nPuff is anywhere near it was enough to drive them away.

Murf76 on February 7, 2011 at 1:53 PM

In Arianna’s private moments she wanted HuffPo to be liberal but to masquerade as a straight news site. Now she going to get what she wanted, on a larger scale. Why doesn’t the left just put it all out there, without any masquerade. They’re in desperate need of a new PAC — Proudgressive. Be left, out of the closet. They want to be left, but don’t dare call them left.

Paul-Cincy on February 7, 2011 at 2:05 PM

fellow Hungarian Ariana [sic] Huffington.

concernedsenior on February 7, 2011 at 1:20 PM

You taint your conspiracy theory with bad info. Arianna is Greek.

Paul-Cincy on February 7, 2011 at 2:08 PM

Maybe now that she’s flush with the cash she can buy Oliver a new tractor.

slickwillie2001 on February 7, 2011 at 2:21 PM

I’m in the process of merging my AOL account to a new GMail account. AOL sucks anyway and this is the last straw.

MJZZZ on February 7, 2011 at 2:22 PM

Where the hell did AOL get $315 mil? They lost like 800 mil last year.

mojo on February 7, 2011 at 2:47 PM

Soros unloaded some of his AOL stock last year, so if anyone sees him buying AOL now, or behind another company’s acquisition of AOL, sound the alarms.

I expect it to happen, and Beck will be the first to disclose it.

petefrt on February 7, 2011 at 2:47 PM

Where the hell did AOL get $315 mil? They lost like 800 mil last year.

mojo on February 7, 2011 at 2:47 PM

Gawker reports that they’re paying $300M of the $315M in CASH. Pretty rich for a near belly-up company, no?

petefrt on February 7, 2011 at 2:49 PM

And she didn’t have to get married or perform any unnatural acts this time to earn her payday.

jcrue on February 7, 2011 at 3:01 PM

I’m dang sure quitting AOL. I don’t want anything to do with that socialist liar.
Go here, you can buy an @reagan.com email address for $34.95 per year. It’s offered by Michael AND you can honor President Reagan, too. I just bought mine. Adios, aol-mofo.

Yellowdog12 on February 7, 2011 at 3:24 PM

Ed, good post, but you said the following:

“AOL has been careful to give the impression of political balance in their news and opinion offerings on line.”

Ed, this is really wrong. I simply have no idea where you might have gotten the impression. Everything posted at the AOL sign-on page is tainted with a soft but decidedly lefty perspective, or is written from an idiots perspective. Everything.

From PC nonsense, to constantly questioning every public perspective that any Republican anywhere takes . . . “But Is He (She) Right?” . . . and always including the posting some leftie critic’s stupid personal attack, no matter how ridiculous or how inapt their comments may be.

I have to sign on to AOL every day, largely because the original e-mail address I obtained there years ago, allowed for the creation of several other screen names, which I then obtained for use as the “user names” for a few blogs.

It was a mistake.

If it were not for the fact that those blogs do not allow you to change the original “user name,” i.e., they have have unchangable “user names” which in my case are based on a few AOL e-mail addresses, I would not even think of staying with AOL.

If I could easily “reset” them, for example, with g-mail addresses, I would do that in a heartbeat. AOL consists of little more than leftwing narratives for dummies.

Trochilus on February 7, 2011 at 3:27 PM

Behold Your New Boss AOL!!

Arianna Huffington Without Make-Up

Nearly Nobody on February 7, 2011 at 3:35 PM

And she didn’t have to get married or perform any unnatural acts this time to earn her payday.

jcrue on February 7, 2011 at 3:01 PM

I don’t know about that, being a liberal is pretty unnatural..

tinkerthinker on February 7, 2011 at 3:49 PM

Where the hell did AOL get $315 mil? They lost like 800 mil last year.

mojo on February 7, 2011 at 2:47 PM

They raised their debt ceiling.

Vince on February 7, 2011 at 3:59 PM

Arianna Huffington, The Huffington Post’s co-founder and editor-in-chief, will be named president and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Media Group, which will include all Huffington Post and AOL content,

AOL News bookmark *deleted*

Moesart on February 7, 2011 at 4:11 PM

Will be interesting to see if this company suddenly buys AOL.
The ordinary person can’t keep track of all the underhanded and backroom deals that are taking place to destroy this great nation.

concernedsenior on February 7, 2011 at 1:20 PM

Practically every major internet company was founded and is currently run by liberals. So keep on clicking, every page view of Hotair puts change into the pockets of liberal types hellbent on destroying America. In fact, you could say that the inernet is one massive conspiracy to destroy this nation while creating incredibly wealthy liberals in the process.

George Soros and AOL are the small players. Look for the much bigger fish who lean left. Think Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Larry Page, Jeff Bezos, and so on- and all the terrible things those men have done to this country.

bayam on February 7, 2011 at 4:51 PM

AOL editors have one of the worst cases of Palin Derangement Syndrome on the blogosphere, so it does not surprise me that a bunch of moonbats are partnering with The Moonbat Queen.

Philly on February 7, 2011 at 6:13 PM

I thought AOL was broke??

TN Mom on February 7, 2011 at 6:30 PM

Have used AOL since dial-up. Easy, fast, for me anyway. Adios. Will not be in any way associated with HufPo

Caststeel on February 7, 2011 at 7:01 PM

I used, not anymore, them for a home page. Go read the comments. People are not pleased.

BigWyo on February 7, 2011 at 7:31 PM

Aol isn’t in the position to be making 9 figure acquisitions and HuffPo is, at best, an 8 figure property. Aol is the New Time Warner to Arianna Huffington’s Aol.

JCred on February 7, 2011 at 8:26 PM

If she had even a shred of morality, shed take $250k (you know, the amount our President has dictated is more than “enough” for anyone – oh….EXCEPT HIM) for herself and give all the rest to those less “fortunate”.
If she doesn’t? Well then Leftards – guess you’ll just have to admit – you been played.

KMC1 on February 7, 2011 at 8:29 PM

Σας παρακαλώ πάμε μακριά σας ψεύτης και κακό βουλευτής

That means, Adrianna, you tortured us all for many years and somehow came out on the winning end of this with $300 mill. I hand it to you, you are a schemer and deserve your spoils. However, you have gained it at the expense of American life and values. You are a destructive force in American life. Go to He….

highninside on February 7, 2011 at 11:53 PM

Huff-Po/AOL Merger: a dead Albatross hanging around the neck of a dead Albatross . . .

BigAlSouth on February 8, 2011 at 6:22 AM

Nick Denton asked the question: “Is this a fearsome Internet conglomerate or simply a roach motel for once lively websites?”

h/t Daily Beast

BigAlSouth on February 8, 2011 at 6:28 AM

$314,999,999.00 too much.

Weak news?

profitsbeard on February 8, 2011 at 5:44 PM

Comment pages: 1 2