AOL Begins Layoffs

By Cindy Waxer March 10, 2011

The ink has yet to dry on AOL’s deal to acquire the Huffington Post but that hasn’t stopped the tech giant from gearing up to let go a little over 200 U.S. employees, 120 or so of which are editorial staffers.

On Feb. 7, the Huffington Post revealed that AOL had agreed to purchase the wildly popular new site for $315 million, approximately $300 million of which will be paid in cash funded from cash on hand. HuffPo, as it’s affectionately known, is privately owned by its two co-founders, as well as a group of investors. The transaction is expected to close in the late first- or early second-quarter 2011.

According to tech blog TechCrunch, in addition to editorial staffers, the remaining employees that are being laid off, work in AOL’s media business as well as in other units such as technology. TechCrunch also reveals that AOL “will actually be gaining 250 employees from the media property, around 150 of which are editorial staffers. AOL says that after the merger, there is a net gain of 17 editorial staffers. And including Patch, AOL still employs 1,200 journalists in editorial.”

In India, AOL will be relieving around 400 employees of their duties, and reclassifying approximately 300 workers as contractors. Total tally: AOL is set to let go over 1,000 employees.

Arianna Huffington, the Huffington Post's co-founder and editor-in-chief, has been named president and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, which will include all Huffington Post and AOL content, including Engadget, TechCrunch, Moviefone, MapQuest, Black Voices, PopEater, AOL Music, AOL Latino, AutoBlog, Patch, StyleList, and more.

“By combining HuffPost with AOL's network of sites, thriving video initiative, local focus, and international reach, we know we'll be creating a company that can have an enormous impact, reaching a global audience on every imaginable platform,” wrote Huffington in a blog posting entitled, ‘When HuffPost Met AOL: A Merger of Visions.’

Edited by Tammy Wolf

TechZone360 Contributing Editor

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