I remember when AOL was king. Dial Tones were ringing in every house, and we heard the famous “You’ve Got Mail” way too much. AOL blasted our retail centers with discs that were good coasters (and were probably used that way more often than installed), but the name meant less and less as their main function (internet provider) began being overtaken by Comcast, Time Warner, and now Mobile Phone Companies and Coffee Houses. AOL did manage to have a portal with Keywords that many still hold onto however, and they are clutching onto the possibility with their cold hands. Thus, the buyout of The Huffington Post, aka Arianna Huffington.
She made a big deal at the Super Bown Dome yesterday when she inked a deal with AOL to buy the online Media provider The Huffington Post (including all the topical news blogs it operates). But the devil is in the details. Arianna made out big, with Huffington getting bought out with $300 million cash, which mostly goes to the board. Not only that, but Arianna will remain in charge of Huffington. So who really bought who? With AOL struggling and shrinking and Huffington growing (from $30 mil profits with hopes to get $100 mil this year), it seems that Huffington has really taken charge of the AOL portal – or they will. Lets hope that AOL doesn’t crunch Huffington down and merely try and force content through their media portals. It would be nice to see some innovation beyond sticking AOL logo on The Huffington Post as well.
At the beginning of this newscast, there are some interesting details:
More details in print at Bloomberg here.