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  • Gerrit Eicker 09:28 on 7. February 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , 2005, , , , , , Arianna Huffington, , , , , Celebrity Coverage, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Mergers, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Huffington Goes AOL 

    Aol. acquires The Huffington Post (HuffPo) for $315M: Arianna Huffington stays editor-in-chief; http://eicker.at/HuffingtonAol

    • Gerrit Eicker 09:28 on 7. February 2011 Permalink | Reply

      HuffPo: “AOL Inc. announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire The Huffington Post, the influential and rapidly growing news, analysis, and lifestyle website founded in 2005, which now counts nearly 25 million unique monthly visitors. … The transaction will create a premier global, national, local, and hyper-local content group for the digital age – leveraged across online, mobile, tablet, and video platforms. The combination of AOL’s infrastructure and scale with The Huffington Post’s pioneering approach to news and innovative community building among a broad and sophisticated audience will mark a seminal moment in the evolution of digital journalism and online engagement. … 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, including Engadget, TechCrunch, Moviefone, MapQuest, Black Voices, PopEater, AOL Music, AOL Latino, AutoBlog, Patch, StyleList, and more.”

      Huffington: “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. … Far from changing our editorial approach, our culture, or our mission, this moment will be for HuffPost like stepping off a fast-moving train and onto a supersonic jet. We’re still traveling toward the same destination, with the same people at the wheel, and with the same goals, but we’re now going to get there much, much faster.”

      ATD: “For AOL, the deal gives them a site that is very good at generating lots page views and impressions very efficiently–which is the company’s whole thrust these days. – That means lots more ad inventory to sell and an injection of content talent, giving AOL more scale it desperately needs. – The move also obviously gives AOL a much-needed editorial identity and cohesion, which it doesn’t really have. … Five time multiple to the Huffington Post’s $65 million in expected revenue for the coming year, one-eighth of AOL’s market valuation, the offer was accepted quickly.”

      Guardian: “The sale to AOL marks a personal triumph for Ariana Huffington, the colourful and controversial co-founder of the site that bore her name, who under the terms of the deal is given a new role as president and editor in chief of a unit to be named Huffington Post Media Group, and includes management of AOL’s sprawling news operations and other media enterprises such as TechCrunch and MapQuest. … Originally a politics blog aimed at Democrats, the Huffington Post branched out into celebrity coverage and turned itself into one of the biggest pieces of real estate in online news media in the US, rapidly overtaking more established media organisations such as the Washington Post by deftly utilising the internet to exploit untapped markets.”

      NYT: “The deal will allow AOL to greatly expand its news gathering and original content creation, areas that its chief executive, Tim Armstrong, views as vital to reversing a decade-long decline. … By handing so much control over to Ms. Huffington and making her a public face of the company, AOL, which has been seen as apolitical, risks losing its nonpartisan image. Ms. Huffington said her politics would have no bearing on how she ran the new business. … One of The Huffington Post’s strengths has been creating an online community of readers with tens of millions of people. … The sale means a huge payout for Huffington Post investors and holders of its stock and options, who stand to profit earlier than if the company had waited to grow large enough for an initial public offering. … ‘The reason AOL is acquiring The Huffington Post is because we are absolutely passionate, big believers in the future of the Internet, big believers in the future of content,’ Mr. Armstrong said.

      RWW: “Can the Huffington Post strategy bring in as much or more revenue than that? While eyeballs have come online fast, ad revenues have been much slower to move. That’s in large part because in the old media world, advertisers used to say “half my advertising is wasted, I just don’t know which half that is. So they bought both halves. Online, that’s not the case. Every click and every conversion is countable – so ad buys can be made much more rational. Thus much less media gets sponsored. It’s hard to say how this is all going to play out in the long run. – AOL is making a strong move, though, in spending more than an entire financial quarter’s subscription revenue on one big content shop and its leadership.

      TC: “Arianna Huffington’s genius is to churn out enough SEO crap to bring in the traffic and then to use the resulting advertising revenue – and her personal influence – to employ top class reporters and commentators to drag the quality average back up. And somehow it works. In the past six months journostars like Howard Fineman, Timothy L. O’Brien and Peter Goodman have all been added to the HuffPo’s swelling masthead, and rather than watering down the site’s political voice, it has stayed true to its core beliefs. Such is the benefit of being bank-rolled by a rich liberal who doesn’t give a shit.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:16 on 13. November 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , Mergers, , , , , , , , , ,   

    The Daily Beast + Newsweek 

    Merger of The Daily Beast and Newsweek: combined newsrooms and ad sales, independent brands? http://eicker.at/NewsweekBeast

    • Gerrit Eicker 08:27 on 13. November 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Newsweek: “Newsweek magazine and The Daily Beast, an operating company of IAC, announced today they have agreed to merge their operations in a joint venture to be owned equally by Sidney Harman and IAC. – The new entity will be called The Newsweek Daily Beast Company. The directors of the joint venture will include Dr. Harman as Executive Chairman, IAC Chairman Barry Diller, and one director each to be appointed from either side. … ‘I see Newsweek and the Beast as a marriage between Newsweek’s journalistic depth and the vibrant versatility The Daily Beast has realized on the web,’ said Ms. Brown. ‘The metabolism of The Daily Beast will help power the resurgence of Newsweek and Newsweek amplifies the range of talent and audience The Daily Beast can reach. The two entities together offer writers, photographers and marketers a powerful dual platform.‘ … ‘Consumers and advertisers value media distributed across multiple platforms,’ said Mr. Colvin. ‘The merger of The Daily Beast and Newsweek audiences creates a powerful global media property for the digital age.‘”

      Brown, TDB: “Some weddings take longer to plan than others. The union of The Daily Beast and Newsweek magazine finally took place with a coffee-mug toast between all parties Tuesday evening, in a conference room atop Beast headquarters, the IAC building on Manhattan’s West 18th Street. The final details were only hammered out last night. – What does this exciting new media marriage mean? It means that The Daily Beast’s animal high spirits will now be teamed with a legendary, weekly print magazine in a joint venture, named The Newsweek Daily Beast Company, owned equally by Barry Diller’s IAC and Sidney Harman, owner (and savior) of Newsweek. … It takes two inspired entrepreneurs like Barry Diller and Sidney Harman to undertake such a challenging media experiment. … Both of us look forward to joining with Sidney Harman, who made his fortune and reputation as founder of Harman International, the worldwide audio manufacturer, and has a mind that’s alive with a cultural curiosity that’s exactly what you need to succeed in the publishing world. I very much admire his passion to restore Newsweek to its glory days, and with a bit of luck and a lot of hard work, we will. Join us for the journey!”

      Guardian: “Merger talks reportedly broke down in late October because Sidney Harman, who bought Newsweek in August for $1, balked at terms that denied him the power to dismiss Brown while giving the British editor freedom to report to an independent board.”

      NYT: “The arrangement is in many ways a win-win for both sides, with Mr. Harman getting a respected editor who will generate buzz around a magazine that many in the publishing world had left for dead, and Ms. Brown gaining an editing job back in a well-known publication. – It also gives Mr. Diller, a member of the board of The Washington Post Company, the longtime former owner of Newsweek, a print magazine. That has the potential for far more revenue than The Daily Beast, a digital news and aggregation enterprise that has been neither fish nor fowl.”

      NYT: “People who have spoken with and consulted Mr. Diller on the Newsweek talks said that over the course of the discussions with Sidney Harman, the magazine’s new owner, Mr. Diller became increasingly enamored with the idea of idea of coupling his two-year-old start-up with one of the most established brands in print journalism. … The merger is likely to come with other forms of consolidation. One of the main reasons the merger appealed to Mr. Diller and Mr. Harman was that combining the newsrooms and business sides would allow them to reduce staffing. When asked about possible job cuts on Friday, Ms. Brown said, ‘We’re going to have to look at the whole business model, the whole editorial model, and we’ll have to make our assessments.‘”

      AdAge: “It remains to be seen how the marriage works once the honeymoon is over. Back when the deal seemed dead, Ms. Brown seemed to think that walking away was the best idea. The ‘complexities’ of Newsweek’s ‘infrastructure, legacy and our desire to stay nimble ultimately made this not the right decision at this time,’ she said then in an email to The New York Times.”

      pC: “One of the big questions as the two media outfits come together is whether they can both rein in costs or whether this will compound their respective cash flow problems. At the time of Harman’s purchase of Newsweek barely two months ago, the magazine was expected to lose another $20 million by the end of the year. Meanwhile, Daily Beast, which just celebrated its second anniversary in October, will lose about $10 million, according to the WSJ.”

      TC: “Combining the two news brands would be a disaster. Just look at what each publication stands for. Newsweek is a storied publication whose tag line is, ‘What Matters Most.’ The Daily Beast’s, meanwhile, is. ‘Read This Skip That.’ … The plan seems to be to combine the newsrooms and the ad sales, but keep the properties independent. The magazine will be a place for longer narratives and investigative pieces. The web will be for breaking news. … IAC confirms the two sites will likely be combined under the Daily Beast. – Comscore estimates that the Daily Beast is pulling in 2.9 million unique visitors a month, while Newsweek.com is attracting 5.4 million. But those are two very different audiences looking for different things.”

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