Arianna Huffington: 'Empress of the Internet'
That's Felix Salmon's take on AOL's acquisition of the Huffington Post, anyway:
My feeling, then, is that this deal is a good one for both sides. AOL gets something it desperately needs: a voice and a clear editorial vision. It’s smart, and bold, to put Arianna in charge of all AOL’s editorial content, since she is one of the precious few people who has managed to create a mass-market general-interest online publication which isn’t bland and which has an instantly identifiable personality. That’s a rare skill and one which AOL desperately needs to apply to its broad yet inchoate suite of websites.
As for HuffPo, it gets lots of money, great tech content from Engadget and TechCrunch, hugely valuable video-production abilities, a local infrastructure in Patch, lots of money, a public stock-market listing with which to make fill-in acquisitions and incentivize employees with options, a massive leg up in terms of reaching the older and more conservative Web 1.0 audience and did I mention the lots of money? Last year at SXSW I was talking about how ambitious New York entrepreneurs in the dot-com space have often done very well for themselves in the tech space, but have signally failed to engineer massive exits in the content space. With this sale, Jonah Peretti changes all that; his minority stake in HuffPo is probably worth more than the amount of money Jason Calacanis got when he sold Weblogs Inc to AOL.
And then, of course, there’s Arianna, who is now officially the Empress of the Internet with both power and her own self-made dynastic wealth. She’s already started raiding big names from mainstream media, like Howard Fineman and Tim O’Brien; expect that trend to accelerate now that she’s on a much firmer financial footing.
Photo credit: By Lucas Jackson/Reuters
| February 7, 2011; 11:26 AM ET
Save & Share: Previous: 'Nothing in the Constitution even remotely guarantees a right to be a free rider'
Next: Lunch Break
Posted by: jkaren | February 7, 2011 11:59 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: lauren2010 | February 7, 2011 12:04 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: visionbrkr | February 7, 2011 12:27 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: tomtildrum | February 7, 2011 12:51 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: tomtildrum | February 7, 2011 12:54 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: grat_is | February 7, 2011 1:57 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: grat_is | February 7, 2011 2:01 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: dpurp | February 7, 2011 2:02 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: CarlosXL | February 7, 2011 2:11 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: visionbrkr | February 7, 2011 2:58 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: jkaren | February 7, 2011 3:07 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | February 7, 2011 3:25 PM | Report abuse