Extending a wave of layoffs, AOL reduced its entire business news team to one or two people and is expected to use Huffington Post staff to pick up the slack. Because that's what HuffPo is famous for: business news.
AOL laid off freelancers at its business sites Daily Finance and Walletpop in a midnight email, according to Business Insider, leaving one or two full time staff. The layoffs join similar cuts at other sites. Much of what AOL does editorially is being consolidated under the Huffington Post, which AOL bought in February as part of a deal that made HuffPo founder Arianna Huffington editor of all AOL content properties.
Huffington certainly built a much-lauded political website, and even became famous for her ability to place at the top of Google search results HuffPo's forgettable (but more profitable) celebrity news, lifestyle content and excerpts from other publications. But her track record on business and tech coverage, to pick just two examples, is virtually nonexistent.
If anyone at AOL knows the purported logical behind the merger strategy, we'd love to hear from you.
Update: One former HuffPo staffer wrote in to defend the publication's business coverage, noting the monster William Alden article on local financial problems in Milwaukee, Wisconsin praised today by Felix Salmon, the recent hire of Peter Goodman from the New York Times, the consumer protection coverage of Shahien Nasiripour and Arthur Delaney's work on the economic crisis. Clearly, we need to read the HuffPo business pages more often. We got no argument on tech, save for the potential of recently installed tech editor Bianca Bosker.
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