Looks like my prediction that the purchase of Huffington Post by AOL for $315 million was going to kill both companies, a while back on this site, is bearing fruit. As I noted then, AOL was the kiss of death, and Huffington Post was a bunch of lefty loons with no real experience. Anyway, this thing is going south faster than Obama and the democrats are pushing America off the cliff, and the most essential reason is #1:
AOL bought Huffington Post for $315 million earlier this year. So far, according to a reader, the intergration is going very badly: Twelve reasons why the AOL – Huffington Post merger is going down in flames. The tragedy here is that not only will the deal ruin AOL, but it will also ruin the Huffington Post.
It is the Peter Principle on a grand scale. None of AOL’s senior editors (Huffington, Roy Sekoff, and Nico Pitney) have ever managed more than a few people. Now they have hundreds and lack the experience to manage a team this big. Behind the scenes, long time Huffposters say that Jai Singh’s departure has eliminated the key adult in the room. Now they need to grow HuffPost and save AOL – not possible.
The place is run by people with no real experience for the job they are in. Kind of like the country is being run right now. The novice in the WH and his merry band of followers that with a few exceptions have never held a job in the real world have no clue what they are doing. Neither does the leadership of the mighty AOL-Huffington Post mega corp. Even worse, it seems decisions are not being made on sound business principles, choices made to benefit the company as a hole, but what to me clearly look like insane reasons and some kind of twisted ideological lines and motive. Seriously, can you believe stuff like this?
Unclear lines of authority. Editors are turning down sponsorships – refusing to allow McDonald’s or K-Mart sponsor AOL’s fashion week coverage.
It’s not like the KKK or Hitler are asking for ad time here people. Why refuse good paying customers, huh?
Or even more interesting are revelations like these:
Dissension in edit. The editorial team is miserable and views Arianna as unpredictable and her leadership unsteady. Several editors are racing to close book deals to be write the “Devil Wear’s Prada” of the digital age. Others are aggressively pitching unflattering profiles to New York Magazine, Vanity Fair, and the LA Times. The lack of maturity and loyalty among editors is stunning – even those close to her are extremely negative behind her back – which is surprising because she has done a great job taking care of her people.
Imperial over-reach. AOL will eliminate Popeater and Parentdish this month and roll them into the Huffington Post. Arianna’s people are plotting to eliminate all non huffingtonpost.com websites and redirect all traffic to the huffingtonpost.com. No one thinks consolidating to huffingtonpost.com is a good idea from a consumer or an advertiser perspective, but no one will stop Arianna.
Neither the Indians nor the chiefs have a clue what they are doing, but both are doing things that hurt the future viability of the company, and then due to lack of maturity and for insane personal and ideological reasons. Good luck fixing those. And expect a lot more of this:
Fear and paranoia. Large parts of the org recognize the strategy is bad for the business but everyone is afraid to speak out. Arianna is rumored to have created an enemies list across the company and has directed her loyalists to collect dossiers on other managers across the company and report back on conversations. Her list includes several key business, sales, technology, and marketing executives she wants to eliminate and replace with her people. Anyone who disagrees, even if backed by data and clear rationale’s – goes on the enemies list. Facts don’t matter.
This sounds like leftists are in charge for sure. Facts, logic, and business principles – none of those matters a bit. There are enemy’s lists targeting sales, technology, marketing, which are being used to push personal agendas, and people live in fear of doing the right thing. Even more interesting is how this is impacting the front end:
Traffic is down. The integration is likely destroying the huffington post. The sales demands and content over-reach are destroying huffpost’s focus while the org is trapped trying to save AOL when the huffpost team should be focused on building huffpost. Traffic on huffpost is up – but only due to the redirects from aol sites…. Net net, aol plus huff post traffic is in decline and the situation is not improving.
Heh, can’t say I am surprised at the news that this venture seems doomed to failure: I expected that based on observation of previous such attempts and on what’s going on right now. We are seeing the same play out, at a macro level, in the way that things are turning out for our country and its economy since the lefties took over. Stories like this are not an accident when the people in charge of running things are only good at campaigning, but have no clue how to run things. People are figuring out they are being had.
Hang on AOL-Huffington Post, cause the country might beat you to the bankruptcy line the way things are going with the Campaigner-in-Chief and the democrats refusing to deal with the disaster they have created. Nah, I was only joking. I actually am rooting for the whole AOL-Huffington Post thing to go south. I thought the whole thing was about as insane as the whole Air America project from the start, and I hope it ends the same way. Let the good times roll!