$315 million question: Can Arianna keep Huffington Post’s DNA alive?

Two very different views of the $315 million deal. I agree more with Jeff’s analysis and views.

An excerpt from Jeff Jarvis, Buzz Machine, “AriannaOL” (emphasis added),

“Content alone isn’t enough for Aol. It has content. Lots. What HuffPo and Arianna bring is a new cultural understanding of media that is built around the value of curation, the power of peers, the link economy, passion as an asset, and celebrity as a currency. As a friend of mine reminds me via email from London, HuffPo, thanks to its roots, also has a keen understanding of the value of technology innovation to build platforms. Unlike old media companies, HuffPo groks scale.

And let’s not forget that HuffPo gets journalism. I remember a few years ago when Alan Rusbridger, editor-in-chief of the Guardian, goaded Arianna in a talk before his staff about why she’d possibly want such as them: reporters who cost a lot and are pains to work with. Because their stories get more traffic, Arianna replied. She understands the value of reporting.

An excerpt from Jon Friedman, MarketWatch, “Arianna Huffington and AOL: culture clash” (emphasis added),

“Will AOL happily accept Arianna’s left-leaning politics as its own? Not likely. It follows that the company that shelled out $315 million should get its way on most of the important issues. But the reason it bought HuffPo in the first place is because of the audience that was drawn to the site’s opinionated voice. If it tempers that, it might lose the very thing it wanted.

The media landscape is filled with ballyhooed corporate marriages that failed to click, usually because the companies refused to cooperate with one another.

Does that gloomy scenario sound familiar? It should. A lack of teamwork on both sides ruined the AOL-Time Warner deal’s prospects a decade ago. Much has been made of the differences in the new and old media approaches of the two outfits.

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