Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A New Drudge? Ask Arianna Huffington about it!

Mega blogger Arianna Huffington sold her popular liberal blog Huffington Post to AOL for $315 million. Started in 2005, the news site surpass the controversial conservative Drudge Report in 2009. It attracts many including myself to read the latest in politics, entertainment and media.

Arianna Huffington is also involved in her talk radio shows Left, Right and Center, Both Sides with Huffington and Matlin, and voice acting for Seth MacFarlane/Mike Henry's The Cleveland Show.

The new Arianna Huffington-run AOL news operation has fired scores of AOL business and finance freelancers, and is offering them the opportunity to work again—for free, according to reports from contributors. The popular liberal's controversial labor practices are triggering another uproar over AOL's multi-million-dollar acquisition of the Huffington Post, and have already spurred calls by journalists and union leaders for an "electronic" strike. Some of the canned freelancers are being offered staff jobs in the new operation, which is headed by Huffington, though numbers have not been revealed. All others have been told they can continue to write for free, reports the Business Insider. The Huffington Post has come under intense fire from its own unpaid freelancers, who complain that they helped create the operation that Huffington sold to AOL for $315 million. A Huffington Post-AOL spokesman denied "mass terminations" are underway, and said the changes are part of a strategy to "shift from relying on freelancers and contractors to investing in full-time staff." Many AOL workers are stunned by Huffington's power in the new set up. "I've never seen someone buy a company and then give the keys to the safe to the people who run that company," an AOL staffer tells the Guardian.

Newser and the Guardian (UK) contribute to the story.

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