The major media news of this morning is AOL's purchase of the Huffington Post. This will make HuffPo founder and owner Arianna Huffington an even bigger player in the national media landscape, as she will now take control of all of AOL's editorial content as President and Editor in chief of the just created Huffington Post Media Group. She will also give her control of other AOL properties like MapQuest and Moviefone.
For AOL's Armstrong, this is just another big move on his part as he tries to rebrand the former Internet powerhouse into a major player again. First and foremost in that strategy has been Patch, where AOL has spent at least $50 million over the past year or so investing in local news reporting i(CL reported on that last November.) AOL Patch has numerous sites in the Bay area, and 700 nationally. And along with Bloomberg, they have become one of the few media organizations anywhere that has actively been hiring reporters.
But as Ken Auletta reported in the New Yorker recently last month, a lot of experts in the media world aren't really sure if AOL Patch will ever catch on to the extent that AOL and Armstrong believes it will.
Meanwhile HuffPo, the left-leaning so-called liberal alternative to Matt Drudge has become one of the most successful news aggregating sites since its creation in 2005, with 25 million unique visitors each month. (As to who actually did create it is the subject of a lawsuit that was recently covered in Vanity Fair) This move now gives them the chance to feature more originally reporting, albeit from a local angle.