AOL Buys Huffington Post for $315 Million

In its latest comeback-by-buyout move, AOL bought the Huffington Post for $315 million. The Wall St. Journal reports:

(AOL CFO Arthur Minson) said AOL, which last week posted a 26% drop in fourth-quarter revenue to $596 million, expects to see revenue improvements over time and 2013 “to be a growth year.”

(AOL announced) earlier Monday that it was buying the Huffington Post, an online news website, for $315 million. The deal is part of AOL’s broader strategy to turn its business around by becoming a top producer of news, entertainment and other digital content. AOL said it anticipates Huffington Post generating just above $50 million in revenue for 2011.

“You can consider this to be the foundation,” AOL CEO Tim Armstrong said. “You will see us continue to look at media properties and media brands that we feel fit our strategy and the core work we’re doing in the future.”

(Ariana) Huffington, who will become president and editor-in-chief of the new group within AOL responsible for integrating content between the two companies, said she wasn’t shopping Huffington Post before the AOL deal.

The Huffington Post purchase follows AOL’s buyouts of TechCrunch and online video company 5min Media last year, as well as last week’s purchase of European video company Goviral A/S, according to the WSJ.

AOL made buckets of cash from asset sales, and it’s poised to buy even more HuffPo-sized companies, according to Business Insider. And that’s exactly what it plans to do with its content mill + SEO = revenue gold strategy.

  • The main thing that I want to know is, when they say that Arianna will become the editor of AOL media, meaning that she will retain editorial control of HP, is that a lifelong appointmen
    ­t; will she get to choose her successor? As long as she remains in control of the Post, to me it retains its integrity. If the AOL honchos ever take control of the content on HP, then it will just be another part of the MSM.

    As far as the “red tide,” I don’t necessaril­y see it as a bad thing to bring together people of widely differing opinions on one site. The problems could come if there are discussion­s that are specifical­ly relevant to one group of people, and trolls start coming in and disrupting it. I hope that there will be (or already is) some method of preventing that, so that, basically, if people in the same general camp are attempting to debate the subtleties of an issue, they won’t be interrupte­d by people trashing their entire political philosophy­.