Does the addition of the Huffington Post to AOL now spell troubled days ahead? The purchase of the Huffington Post by AOL has now been officially completed to create a new media empire for AOL. With a steep price tag, they have created the Huffington Post Media Group and placed Arianna Huffington in charge. They have now completed the creation of their media empire and Tim Armstrong, AOL CEO, is talking up what he expects to see from this merger. How all of this is actually going to work out is really an unknown and the goals of profits and revenue may not meet expectations.
AOL Media president David Eun was one of the first to leave when the purchase agreement was announced and he was the first high level person to depart. Several well known editors of Engadget have resigned in the wake of the announced purchase. These include Paul Miller and Ross Miller, both of whom were well respected in the industry. TechCrunch was purchased last year by AOL and Michael Arrington has stayed on with TechCrunch. Now he has a new boss in Arianna Huffington which should be very interesting as they both have combative styles. At the time that AOL purchased TechCrunch, there were assurances that AOL would not interfere with their editorial process. With this merge and media empire creation, it will be interesting to see how long that lasts. Michael Arrington may be the next higher level resignation.
The TechCrunch group was not included in the all employee email that was sent out announcing the purchase. That fact tends to indicate there are some problems in that area and either concern about how they would react or considerations for radical changes in that group. That does not start things out very well when you exclude a group of people from an important announcement such as this.
Now that Arianna os officially in charge, it will be her challenge to pull all of this together and make it work. It is a huge undertaking, given all the media outlets that are now under her control. Now, Visual Art Source, has decided to no longer post free articles on the Huffington Post and is encouraging other unpaid contributors of the Huffington Post to do the same. It seems that since the Post sold for $315 million, they should be able to compensate those who have made them successful at no cost. This is a challenges for the Huffington Post as it has made them very successful at no cost. The Visual Art Source is encourage many others who are providing free content to join them. If that gains traction from the army of upaid content providers, it will impact the current successes of the Huffington Post.
Whether all of this is going to work out successfully as Tim Armstrong wants will have to be seen. Given the departures and ongoing unrest, it does not look very positive at the moment.