Today on CNBC's "Fast Money," Arianna and AOL CEO Tim Armstrong discussed the just-announced merger of The Huffington Post and AOL.
When asked if the decision to acquire The Huffington Post was "risky", Armstrong answered, "I don't think there's any risk in it. I think the future of the Internet is going to be about content. I think The Huffington Post is one of the strongest, most transformational brands on the Internet." He went on to explain, "AOL is planning on becoming the largest premium content company on the Internet and the next American media company that goes global." Armstrong sees The Huffington Post fitting into the established AOL brand in a similar fashion to how ABC and ESPN currently fit into the established Disney brand.
Arianna explained that The Huffington Post is "going to be at the leading edge of producing content that leads to engagement." When questioned about how all of AOL's brands would "mesh together" with the current offerings of The Huffington Post, Arianna discussed how people have varied interests and how The Huffington Post already contains 26 sections. "It's just a question of having clear voices and providing engagement." Summing up the strengths of The Huffington Post, Arianna went on to say, "news has become increasingly social, people don't want just to consume it, they want to share it, they want to comment on it. At the Huffington Post we've provided a great civil environment in which to do that which both consumers and advertisers love."