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BREAKING: AOL Buys The Huffington Post For $315M; Deal Signed At Super Bowl XLV; What Happens To AOL’s Apolitical Image?

AOL will pay $300 million of the pricetag in cash, and the rest in stock. Buying the 5-year-old primarily liberal political news aggregator will be AOL’s biggest acquisition since it split from Time Warner in 2009. Below is a press release (see below) just issued from AOL and The Huffington Post, which has been for sale for some time now since it was launched on May 9, 2005. Over the years HuffPo has taken in various investors so founders Arianna Huffington and her partner, former Time Warner exec Ken Lehrer, don’t get to just pocket the windfall. Arianna will stay on according to the announcement as president and editor-in-chief of the newly formed The Huffington Post Media Group which will integrate all Huffington Post and AOL content.

According to Arianna’s own behind-the-scenes account of the sale, ”my New Year’s resolution for 2011 was to take HuffPost to the next level — not just incrementally, but exponentially. Now was the time to take leaps… Around the same time, I got an email from Tim Armstrong [AOL Chairman and CEO], saying he had something he wanted to discuss with me, and asking when we could meet. We arranged to have lunch at my home in LA later that week. The day before the lunch, Tim emailed and asked if it would be okay if he brought Artie Minson, AOL’s CFO, with him. The next day, he and Artie arrived, and, before the first course … Read More »

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Mike Sitrick, Shame On You…

By | Thursday July 12, 2007 @ 5:31pm PDT

sitrick.jpgI’ve known Mike Sitrick for a long time. He’s a PR maven who prides himself on being a family man. Which is why he should be filled with self-loathing for allowing his firm to promote a torture porn pic like Captivity, much less an even more disgusting premiere party whose selling point was its political incorrectness. (Let me make it perfectly clear: I support talent’s right to make the movie, just not business people profiting from it.) Sure, I received all those inane emails announcing the bash, and I did the right thing: I trashed them. Other journalists fell all over themselves covering the event so as to diss it: really, they’re lemmings hurling themselves off the cliff. There is only one way to stop the business of these torture porn movies: by shaming the people who receive money for releasing them, publicizing them, having anything to do with them. So, Mike, how could you? (And how could you, After Dark’s  Courtney Solomon and Allan Zeman?) Take that Captivity money and donate it to charity and pledge publicly right now you’ll never get involved with torture porn pics again. Until Mike does, I urge Hollywood and other companies to shun Sitrick and Company because there is such a thing as guilt by association.

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