Not long after AOL detailed plans to buy the Huffington Post for $315 million, the axe fell, and 900 people were laid off worldwide, including 200 in the media and tech group in the US. 700 in India were cut. That’s to 22% of its global workforce of 4,000. It was rumored for weeks that AOL would focus cuts in its news operations, the size of the cuts were a bit surprising—and none of them were from Huff Post.
“While the company insists that none of the AOL Daily Finance, Politics Daily, Popeater.com, Stylist.com and Walletpop.com brands will be going away, insiders said most of the sites have been gutted,” reported The NY Post. “Jonathan Dube, SVP/GM of AOL News & Information, tweeted around noon: ‘I have just laid off dozens of the most talented journalists & product folks I know. Need talent? Let me know!’.”
Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post, will head the AOL news operation that will be merged with her business and re-christened Huffington Media Group.
“We have a clear path to brand success — which is only turbo-charged with the addition of the Huffington Post to our brand portfolio,” AOL CEO Tim Armstrong said in the internal memo announcing the cutbacks.
RBR-TVBR observation: There may have been a clause in the contract with Huff Post that said no one would lose their jobs at the company for at least a period of time. We can almost understand some of the cuts at AOL’s news force, as it would be duplicative with the newly-acquired entity, but the tech group and jobs in India is a little strange. One would think you’d need to keep those kinds of positions with a new company being integrated into your site and infrastructure.