As sports fans were enjoying the Superbowl, another touchdown was being scored Sunday evening…but this was in the boardroom.
Arianna Huffington sold her website the Huffington Post to AOL for $315 million. $300 million in cold cash homey and the rest in AOL stock.
According to the New York Times, Huffington “will take control of all of AOL’s editorial content as president and editor in chief of a newly created Huffington Post Media Group” The arrangement will give her oversight not only of AOL’s national, local and financial news operations, but also of the company’s other media enterprises like MapQuest and Moviefone.”
From AOL”s point of view, they will be gaining a stronger foothold in the digital media news business, however, even though Arianna Huffington will be the face of AOL news, the question remains: Will she have the same freedom as when she ran her blog/website?
When Ted Turner sold his Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. to AOL-Time Warner 1996. At the time it was seen as great move by the “Mouth from The South”.
Being a forward thinker, Turner knew that future new media platforms would involve corporations and digital entities. Joining with AOL-Time Warner was the next logical step for his media vision.
However, AOL-Time-Warner pulled a bait and switch on the free wheeling Turner.
Although he was named vice chairman and head of Time Warner’s cable networks division, he had very little creative control.
What made matters worse is that he had to sit idly by as his beloved channels like CNN change for the worse, because AOL-Time lacked individuals who had Turner’s vision and passion for media, (a few years ago, Ted Turner thought about buying his media outlets like, but the price was too steep)
This is not to say that this will happen to Arianna Huffington because she allegedly has the creative control that Ted Turner didn’t … however being the boss is very different from answering to one.
Just ask Ted.