AOL is paying $315 million, mostly in cash, to buy the Huffington Post, one of the Web’s most prominent news and opinion sites.
As part of the deal, Huffington Post Co-founder Arianna Huffington–who was derided by some when she co-founded the left-leaning site in 2005 with investor and well-known communications exec Kenneth Lerer–will become president and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group within AOL.
The deal was signed Sunday evening and the boards of directors of each company and shareholders of the privately-held Huffington Post have approved the transaction.
The deal has the potential to create an enterprise that could reach more than 100 million visitors in the United States each month. For The Huffington Post, which began as a liberal blog with a small staff but now draws some 25 million visitors every month, the sale represents an opportunity to reach new audiences. For AOL, which has been looking for ways to bring in new revenue as its dial-up Internet access business declines, the millions of Huffington Post readers represent millions in potential advertising dollars.