2. Transformation A: Repositioning the Core
In 2011, America Online (since swallowed up by Verizon) bought the Huffington Post for more than $300 million. Arianna Huffington had founded the website in 2005, and it had quickly grown to become one of the most popular destinations on the internet. “HuffPo” was one of the first companies to make itself a publishing platform. Rather than have a deep roster of full-time journalists to pump out content, HuffPo populated its site with content produced by a skeleton staff and a stable of occasional contributors. It worked. At the time of the acquisition, HuffPo had roughly the same website traffic as the venerable New York Times. The newcomer had fifty journalists. The Times employed twelve hundred.