It's a day of reckoning in the media world, as this morning AOL announced a $315 million deal to acquire the Huffington Post. HuffPo has essentially been on the market since its launch in May 2005 and is privately owned by its two cofounders, Huffington and Kenneth Lehrer.
Here's Arianna Huffington's blog on the merger, full of words like "vision," "innovation" and "branding."
A group of journos sounded off on the deal on WNYC's Politics Bites podcast. Most interesting to me was a comment from Wonkette founder Ana Marie Cox, who shined a light on just how poorly paid, if at all, HuffPo's writers are:
Annnnd... AOL's stock was down more than 3% today on the announcement. Damn, that stuff is at $21.19 a share? I still remember walking to my office at Warner Bros. on the day of the Time Warner-AOL merger to the sounds of giddy execs reveling in their $106/share price. That lasted about a week.
"I think this is great news for Arianna personally and probably pretty good news for AOL, but I'm not sure how good news it is for people like me that try to make a living writing for the web. Huffington Post notoriously doesn't really pay its writers. It takes advantage...of the desire for people to have a platform."
So the question now, is-- how long will it take HuffPo to abandon their left-leaning ways for more objective territory?