AOL will buy the left-leaning blog The Huffington Post in a deal worth $315 million and will see AOL’s media content to be merged with the blog to create a new media group within AOL, with founder Arianna Huffington full editorial control over AOL’s media properties.
AOL’s media properties include popular tech websites Engadget and recent addition TechCrunch along with its news content. AOL’s buy is worth $315 million, with $300 million to be paid in cash and the rest in stock. The Huffington Post started with only $1 million funding in 2005, and now has over 200 staff covering many topics – mostly in news. It has an estimated revenue of $60 million and has over 25 million unique visitors.
Huffington, who is known for left-leaning views, will be in charge of the new Huffington Post Media Group, though it is expected that the new media group will leave much the same as it was, meaning that Engadget and TechCrunch news will most likely stay the same with no changes.
“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,” Huffington wrote on a post.
As well, some AOL News staff are expected to move over to the Huffington Post – such as bloggers on its business and political blogs Daily Finance and Politics Daily – according to the New York Times.
AOL putting a huge bet on news – something that it is lacking, despite the fact it found success in tech and culture areas. This also adds to the vision of AOL shifting away from being an ISP towards a online media company. The company bought TechCrunch for $25 million just to add its name towards its lineup of tech coverage.