AOL CEO Tim Armstrong addressed rumors Tuesday that The Huffington Post would be spun off as part of Verizon's $4.4 billion acquisition of AOL.
Following the announcement of the deal early Tuesday morning, Kara Swisher, editor of the tech site Re/code, published a report stating that, according to multiple sources, AOL has been in talks to spin off HuffPost.
Swisher wrote, "The talks have been most serious with Axel Springer, the German media conglomerate, but a number of private equity firms have also expressed interest in the high-profile property."
Armstrong responded to these rumors in a conversation with HuffPost Live's Alyona Minkovski.
"Let me be clear about it," said Armstong. "My job as CEO is to basically make sure we build the strongest company we possibly can. Huffington Post, I think, will always be a cornerstone of AOL." He continued, "I would say AOL's always going to be an owner of HuffPost, and now Verizon will be an owner of HuffPost."
Armstrong was adamant that the Verizon deal would be promising for HuffPost's global expansion.
"We'll do whatever it takes to get The Huffington Post to grow. I'm open, as long as the outcome is HuffPost becomes the largest single media brand in the world," he said. "I will do anything in the course of time to make sure that happens, and the Verizon deal's part of that."
The deal won't impact editorial freedom, Armstrong added:
If you're going to be in the business of media, if you're going to be a media owner or investor, you have to sign up for editorial independence, and Verizon understands that. ... You're dealing with two corporations that believe in the future of content and believe in editorial independence. I don't think we actually would've done the deal if that weren't the case.
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