back to article AOL buys Huffington Post

AOL is paying £190m for the Huffington Post – the ragbag collection of once Democrat-leaning blogs founded in 2005. The announcement – modestly titled "A Brand New Media Universe", with the strap line "A Merger of Visions" – was signed at the SuperBowl yesterday. The deal makes HuffPo boss Arianna Huffington president and …

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  1. TeeCee Gold badge
    Badgers

    OMFG!

    "A Brand New Media Universe"

    and

    "A Merger of Visions"

    Sounds like the hype might be worth the money. Shame about the content really.....

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    1+1=10

    surely?

    1. Wommit
      Paris Hilton

      There are 10 typre of IT people

      Those who can do binary and those who can't.

      1. rciafardone
        Boffin

        She is wrong unless...

        Those are Strings, then 1 + 1 = 11 is totally correct. After all type was never stated.

        1. Wommit
          Boffin

          Re : rciafardone

          No quotes or decimal point, so they're integers. Its the base that's missing.

  3. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Somebody, send her a calculator

    Because 1 + 1 = 10

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Coat

      Not when you're ready to

      string them together or string them up just depending...

  4. The Indomitable Gall

    Oooh, lookie!

    I thought Huffington was a moron, but she's clearly brighter than I thought. I don't know many people who can count in unary.

    1. Marvin the Martian
      Pint

      But she also clearly knows interesting people.

      I've never met anyone who actually survived "...stepping off a fast-moving train and onto a supersonic jet." So I'd like to read an interesting interview with such people.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Great day for quacks

    Huffington often publishes scam-selling quack doctors who claim to cure autism with detox diets. The Huffington Post's journalistic professionalism is nowhere near NYT, BBC, CBC, old WSJ, or Al Jazeera. It's up there with any of Murdoch's doofus rags, occasionally producing solid work.

    The impact of granting wider audience and corporate funding to someone who believes disproven garbage about dental fillings poisoning you, and Splenda or aspartame giving you headaches and cancer is worrying. It's not so different from the climate change denial hacks or even the Creationists.

    Thankfully, it's hard to imagine this acquisition impacting AOL's parabolic course, but in the meantime it may prove humiliating for political leftists who once again get lumped in with the either sleazy or gullible purveyors of new-age organic hippie woowoo bunkum.

    1. Aaron Em

      What political leftists?

      You say that as though the Huffington Post could attract any in the first place, except to laugh at it.

    2. Wade Burchette Silver badge
      FAIL

      Sad

      I pity you if you think the NYT, BBC, CBC, or any modern news organization has any professionalism at all. They have long since sold their soul to sensationalism.

    3. Mike Flugennock
      Grenade

      re: great day for quacks

      an Anonymous Coward sez on 02.07.11 at 10:38gmt:

      "The Huffington Post's journalistic professionalism is nowhere near NYT, BBC, CBC, old WSJ, or Al Jazeera."

      Huh. That isn't saying much. Oh, and quit insulting Al Jazeera by lumping them in with that other worthless-assed bunch.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      So mercury isn't a poison then?!

      Since when? DO you know that "silver fillings" are 50% mercury?! There is a long history where the AMA condemned 'amalgamated silver/mercury fillings' because of the toxicity issues and the many dentists that were only interested in profit broke off and formed the ADA. Then they told everyone its 'perfectly safe' and went on to tell us that sodium fluoride is perfectly safe to drink, completely disregarding evidence of hormone disruption, brittle bones, cancers and so on. BTW these fillings are banned in Norway, Denmark and Sweden, THOSE places take care of their people.

      If you want to educate yourself start here:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dental_amalgam_controversy

      I see this as a total sellout. The Huffington Post has joined all the other media whores that report only what governments and big corporations want, or what makes them money.

      REAL news hardly ever surfaces, except by mistake.

      1. DrXym Silver badge

        I'd give up AC

        Your precious bodily fluids clearly calcified a long time ago so I wouldn't worry about water fluoridation.

  6. BongoJoe
    WTF?

    Ratbag

    I never heard of this organ so I followed the link to have a look.

    I eventually found the text somewhere between the adverts. Two things spring to mind here; the writing is terrible and, secondly, if they are going to massacre the English language will they please stop using it and return it?

    The last time I read such drivel was when the paperboy used to deliver the neighouring lass' Jackie by mistake.

    The more I read of this newspaper the more I wonder about the media within the US.

    1. Mike Flugennock

      re: ratbag

      BongoJoe sez on 02.07.11 at 10:38gmt:

      "I never heard of this organ so I followed the link to have a look."

      You're not missing much. It's a pretty damn' useless organ, kind of like the appendix.

  7. Richard Jukes

    eh?

    What an over vaulation. $300m for a website that I havent really heard of before let alone used. They report nothing of any use and quite frankly I cannot see why anyone would spend $300m for a website that is probably not even turning a profit on the bandwidth to ad ratio - let alone one that cannot be monetized.

    I bet the Huff Post blew their load when they heard AOL were chucking money away like this. Where does AOL get all this money from? Surely the pot must be empty by now?

  8. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    ...onto a supersonic jet!

    "Social-climbing limousine faux-liberals" love taking supersonic jets.

    1. Flybert
      Thumb Down

      Supersonic ?

      Without the Concorde .. the only supersonic jets are military , and from what I've heard, HuffPo types are somewhat anti-military .. subsonic jets spew out lots of CO2 as well .. thought HuffPo types weren't too happy with that either ..

      anyway .. one pile of shit + one pile of shit = a bigger pile of shit

      I know AOL wants to be a big content provider .. guess they didn't have the money to buy NBC .. so they went dumpster diving ..

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Joke

        1+1 pile of shit

        It could be 2 piles of shit, depending on where they land.

  9. copsewood
    FAIL

    Seen it all before

    Yahoo bought Geocities for $3.57 billion in January 1999, mismanaged it and then switched it off in October 2009. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GeoCities

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      AOL have run plenty of viable opportunities into the ground

      AOL are dab hands at this:

      - Netscape. AOL had the chance to own their own browser engine rather than being slaves to their arch rival's engine. They took a payoff on a lawsuit and cut Mozilla loose. Netscape became a shell website and little else. Good for Mozilla I suppose, not so good for AOL.

      - Nullsoft. AOL owned a potential iTunes store before iTunes even existed. Winamp was the king media player on Windows. AOL managed to drive the brains of Nullsoft out (over things like Gnutella) and bloated Winamp into irrelevance.

      - Mapquest. Google Maps before Google Maps existed. Now also an irrelevance.

      - Time Warner. The mother of all cockups. AOL & TW merged, promised "synergies" and promptly watched as > 70% off the AOLTW stock price peeled away. TW asked for a divorce

      AOL has always been a very conservative company, extremely paranoid of innovation, terrified of increased support calls, and desperately clinging onto their subscriber base.

      I guess someone at the org has worked out that they're bleeding customers so fast that the ISP business is going to self destruct and they need more revenue streams. This might explain why they're diversifying now. I suppose it's a smart move to diversify but if they could easily drive HuffPo straight into the ground like they've done before. Not that I would mourn it's passing. The political stuff is interesting, but the new age quackery is utterly disgraceful.

  10. Tim Jenkins

    ATA : CONNECT

    "Where does AOL get all this money from?"

    As they once had thirty million paying punters worldwide, I suspect it's from all those antique Direct Debits and automated card payments still forking out $19.99 every month for 33.6kbs worth of dialup....

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    People who step off of fast-moving trains...

    ...usually get mashed to bits under the train wheels and leave a dirty streak a mile long.

    1. Pablo
      Pint

      Unless...

      they step onto a supersonic jet traveling at the same speed.

  12. Swoop
    IT Angle

    1+1=10

    Whoever downvoted the 1+1=10 posts was obviously totally oblivious to the IT angle!

    1. The Indomitable Gall

      They also downvoted...

      They downvoted my unary post too.

      Too many non-geeks commenting here these days, methinks.

  13. kevin biswas
    Pint

    AOL still exist ?

    I thought they folded long ago.

  14. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    probably not enough

    Ms. Huffington's resilience is such that even AOL's bad karma may not be able to bring her down for good.

  15. kain preacher

    @eh

    I don't know were they get their money from bu they have bill boards up here saying that they are hiring . The bill boards says come and work for us before your boss does .

  16. Identity
    Terminator

    Regardless of content...

    As a charter subscriber to AOL (the financial pages are pretty good and it makes a great spam trap), I rarely read their political coverage as it strikes me as right-wing propaganda a la Faux News. While HuffPo was originally deemed pro-Democratic and leftist, they've taken to going after Obama (and not without reason, IMHO), so I wonder what effect Ariana's tenure is going to have on AOL's political slant. BTW, AOL says they're currently neutral...

    1. Mike Flugennock
      Coat

      re: regardless of content...

      Identity sez on 02.07.11 at 14:38gmt:

      "AOL says they're currently neutral..."

      You mean "neutered", don't you?

  17. Mike Flugennock
    FAIL

    From crap to worse

    Congrats, bloggers. You now get to write for free for one of the biggest media conglomerates on the planet.

    Score: Arianna Huffington, 315 million; You, 0.

  18. Flugal

    Huffington

    Erm, so the Huffington Post is actually a *real* journal?

    I've come across it a few times and the standards were so poor I thought it was some kind of piss take.

    Hope this proves to be a further nail in AOL's coffin.

  19. DirkGently
    Headmaster

    1 + 1 = 1

    If we're talking Boolean Algebra.

  20. NoneSuch Silver badge
    Linux

    AOL is...

    ...what Microsoft will soon be.

  21. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    "One and one is ONE".

    Medicine Head.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Huffington Post's Revenue = $11M

    Basically, AOL is paying a little more than x27 revenue. While that might seem high, Google's P/E ratio is a little over x23. Facebook valuation is around x25 revenue.

  23. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Boffin

    Erm, so what did AOL buy?

    $315m for an URL? After all, whomever is visiting the site is doing so to read the blogs, are any of the bloggers on a salary? I'd be a bit miffed if someone else was making $1m off my musings and I wasn't going to see a dime, so $315m must be a bit of a shock to the people actually producing the content Ms Huffington has made a mint off! Be a shame if all the bloggers upped sticks and made off to another site where their labours would be under their own control.....

  24. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    WTF?

    Huffington Post "Democrat leaning"

    Are you *sure* about that?

    Only I recall Ms Huffington nee Stasinopolis (not to sure on spelling her family name. It's all Greek to me) being quite a fan of Dubya and his predecessors. I'd also heard her Senator husband had a bit of a rep for being (how should I put this delicately to not offend the delicate political sensibilities of American readers ) pig s**t thick.

    They also seem to operate as a news aggregator. So it stiches stuff from other sources to produce something out of err something else.

  25. zen1
    Grenade

    Wow

    In my opinion, here we have two entities that both score significantly high on the suck-o-meter (not the fun one, either). How does one adaquately score the hell spawn of the "thing" that results when they merge? Sum the two scores and come up with a even nastier rating, average the two premerger scores or simply scrap the existing unit of measure and start fresh?

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Happy

      @zen1

      It's a tricky one.

      I think possibly looking at the market capitalization (# of shares x share price) at the time when AOL merged with Time Warner and then when they (de-merged? Dropped the Time Warner bit?) or before they bought BEBO might give an idea of the power of this company to destroy shareholder value.

      Reverse Midas effect?

  26. Marketing Hack Silver badge

    Not sure this is such a good move

    Will HuffPo's usual blend of progressive bloggers like posting on behalf of the corporate "man"??

    Not sure that this is such a great idea, AOL.

  27. Barry Rueger
    Paris Hilton

    Trains and Planes

    Considering that the U.S. train system is forty years behind more advanced nations' and that the last supersonic passenger jet was grounded a decade ago, I'd have to conclude that the HuffPo mistress will be the perfect person to run AOL!

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meaning

    Does AOL really stand for Arseholes On Line?

    Just wondering...

  29. kain preacher

    No

    Since it's an American company that would be Assholes on line .

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