One year after its acquisition by AOL, The Huffington Post has become a source of growth for the beleaguered company, which is still trying to shed its dial-up Internet image. Now, in what Arianna Huffington characterises as a move to keep the website’s growth accelerating, she has taken several of its business functions out of AOL and under her control.
The revamping, she said, is intended to help The Huffington Post “maintain the innovative spirit of a start-up.” Technology, business development, marketing and communications units that were woven into AOL last year will begin to report to her. The advertising sales unit will remain inside AOL “at the moment,” she said.
The shifts, said Huffington, the site’s co-founder, will let The Huffington Post add sections and products more quickly.
The changes appear to give Huffington more authority within the closely watched media firm, where her title is president and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group. She will continue to report to Tim Armstrong, the AOL chief executive.
In the year after the merger, editors reported to Huffington, but employees in other departments, like technology and marketing, reported to various departments in AOL. The latest reorganisation was approved by Armstrong and AOL’s executive committee, she said.
Asked if there was a plan to make the site fully independent again, apart from AOL, she said, “There’s no such plan. AOL has been great for us. We could not have possibly had the growth we’ve had without its help.”