Arianna Huffington
AOL has announced it is to buy the Huffington Post for $315m (£195m), in a deal that will see site co-founder Arianna Huffington lead a new group overseeing all of AOL's editorial content.

The deal, announced late last night, will create what AOL has called a "premier global, national, local, and hyper-local content group for the digital age", encompassing AOL's journalism, Huffington's rapidly growing news and lifestyle site and other AOL-owned sites such as TechCrunch.

A new division of AOL called the Huffington Post Media Group has been set up, which will bring together all Huffington Post and AOL content including sister sites such as TechCrunch and Engadget.

Huffington, who co-founded the Post with communications executive Kenneth Lerer in 2005, takes the title of president and editor-in-chief of this new group.

AOL described the acquisition as "a seminal moment in the evolution of digital journalism and online engagement".

Chief executive Tim Armstrong said in a statement: "The acquisition of The Huffington Post will create a next-generation American media company with global reach that combines content, community, and social experiences for consumers.

"Arianna is a singularly passionate and dedicated champion of innovative journalistic engagement, and a master of the art of using new media to illuminate, entertain and enhance the national conversation.

"By uniting AOL and the Huffington Post, we are creating one of the largest destinations for smart content and community on the internet."

Huffington said: "My New Year's resolution for 2011 was to take HuffPost to the next level - not just incrementally, but exponentially.

"By combining HuffPost with AOL's network of sites, thriving video initiative, local focus, and international reach, we know we'll be creating a company that can have an enormous impact, reaching a global audience on every imaginable platform."

She added that the merger would allow the Post to do "more local, more tech, more entertainment, more finance, and lots more video".

According to Comscore, the Huffington Post had almost 25 million unique visits in December.

Image by Minesweeper on Wikimedia. Some rights reserved.

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