AOL-HuffPo Deal Seems Pretty Win-Win

HuffPo gets cash, AOL gets a vision, advertisers get eyeballs
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Feb 7, 2011 1:39 PM CST
Arianna Huffington appears as a panelist for Tavis Smiley's 'America's Next Chapter' on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2011 in Washington.   (AP Photo/Earl Gibson III)

(Newser) – AOL's purchase of the Huffington Post is drawing plenty of muted cheers—and a few harsh critiques. Most seem to agree that both sides come out ahead.

  • “The content rollup has begun,” writes Michael Wolff at MediaWeek, and new media is becoming old media—"if it’s lucky." Calling the buy an "advertising play" Wolff writes that "Internet content CPMs suck," which means that the business demands more and more traffic, "ever more miserly economies of scale, and a whole new level of clout."

  • It's win-win, writes Felix Salmon at Reuters. HuffPo gets top-notch tech content, video-production abilities, lots of money and turns Arianna into the "Empress of the Internet." AOL gets "something it desperately needs: a voice and a clear editorial vision."
  • The move worked for both companies, agrees Henry Blodget at Business Insider: HuffPo gets "CASH, not stock," so if AOL ultimately blows everything up, "Huffington Post's shareholders will have made out well." For AOL, it’s a "Hail-Mary pass" that the struggling firm should "absolutely be throwing."
  • Actually, it’s "a slow-motion train wreck that will end in disaster,” argues Dan Lyons at the Daily Beast. AOL publishes "mostly junk," and Tim Armstrong is a "sales guy" who shouldn’t be "telling people how to do journalism."

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