The mere fact that Arianna's liberal political junkie site got that money in the first place was astounding. First, because the overall economy sucks, and investment in general is scarce. Second, because investment in media companies of any type is even more scarce. And finally, because it was just common sense that HuffPo's traffic would rise to an artificially high peak during campaign season, and then head back downhill.
Which is exactly what's happening! You can see by this graph that their weekly page views starting ticking up significantly by September, and topped 90 million by election day. Today—a month later—they're back down in the 40 million range.
Now, perhaps HuffPo figures that, hey, just this past summer they were averaging in the 20-millions, so if they can keep their average moving forward around 40, that's 100% improvement. The question is, to what extend did her investors factor this post-election plunge—and the shitty advertising trends—into their projections? We assume they saw this coming, and still invested anyhow, for some reason! Or else they fell prey to deadly optimism.
Arianna Huffington, you are one impressive internet market-timer. We salute you.