After the major announcement last night that AOL is acquiring the Huffington Post for $315 million, Arianna Huffington sent an email this morning to all Huffington Post bloggers about the “exciting news.” Here is the full text of this email, provided by a HuffPo blogger:
Subject: Exciting News
We are writing with some very exciting news. As you will see if you click on the HuffPost home page, The Huffington Post has been acquired by AOL, instantly creating one of the biggest media companies in the world, with global, national, and local reach — combining original reporting, opinion, video, social engagement and community, and leveraged across every platform, including the web, mobile, and tablets.
Central to all of this will be the kind of fresh, insightful, and influential takes on the issues of the day that you and the rest of our bloggers regularly deliver. Our bloggers have always been a very big part of HuffPost’s identity – and will continue to be a very big part of who we are.
When the Huffington Post launched in May 2005, we had high hopes. But we would have been hard pressed to predict that less than six years later we would be able to announce a deal that now makes it possible for us to execute our vision at light speed.
The HuffPost blog team will continue to operate as it always has. Arianna will become editor-in-chief not only of HuffPost but of the newly formed Huffington Post Media Group, which will include all of AOL’s content sites, including Patch, Engadget, TechCrunch, Moviefone, PopEater, MapQuest, Black Voices, and Moviefone.
Together, our companies will have a combined base of 117 million unique U.S. visitors a month — and 250 million around the world — so your posts will have an even bigger impact on the national and global conversation. That’s the only real change you’ll notice — more people reading what you wrote.
Far from changing the Huffington Post’s editorial approach, our culture, or our mission, it will be like stepping off a fast-moving train and onto a supersonic jet. We’re still traveling toward the same destination, with the same people at the wheel, and with the same goals, but we’re now going to get there much, much faster.
Thank you for being such a vital part of the HuffPost family – which has suddenly gotten a whole lot bigger.
All the best,
Arianna, Roy, David, and the HuffPost Blog Team
Huffington Post bloggers are indeed excited about the news. Blogger 2morrowknight highlighted Arianna’s point that the merger will vastly increase each blogger’s audience. 2morrowknight estimates that while his current blog posts might reach 10,000 people currently, that could increase five or six fold.
Of course, Huffington Post bloggers are not paid (only staffers receive compensation for their posts.) More views are enticing to HuffPo bloggers, as it will “drive more attention and eyeballs [their] way” according to 2morrowknight. But with the pricetag attached to the sale, some HuffPo bloggers may take the acquisition as either a hint to do something literally worth their time, or as an opportunity to ask for a raise.
And now that the bloggers are in the loop, some Huffington Post bloggers are wondering what it really means, both as a HuffPo blogger, and what it might mean to blog for another outlet. With Arianna’s promise of a combined base of “117 million unique U.S. visitors a month — and 250 million around the world,” the promise for exposure as a HuffPo blogger is enticing. But bloggers like 2morrowknight question the future of competing sections, such as HuffPo’s tech section against AOL’s TechCrunch. How much exposure as a HuffPo blogger can really continue to be realized in that situation? It will also be interesting to see what happens to bloggers on competing blogs, such as Mashable. Do they really stand a chance under AOL’s giant content shadow?