Huffington gets more responsibilities at AOL

@CNNMoneyTech April 10, 2012: 11:44 AM ET
Arianna Huffington has assumed additional duties at AOL.

Arianna Huffington has assumed additional duties at AOL.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Arianna Huffington, who sold her news blog service The Huffington Post to AOL a year ago, will be assuming some additional responsibilities at the company.

Huffington will now have the technology, business development, marketing and communications operations that provide services for the Huffington unit at the company report directly to her, rather than having them report to other executives at AOL (AOL).

The shift is described by an official with the company as the formalization of the way things have been operating at the Huffington Post Media Group since the $315 million purchase of Huffington announced in February 2011. Huffington has served as president and editor in chief of that AOL unit since the purchase. She continues to report to AOL CEO Tim Armstrong.

Huffington Post has helped to slow the rate of revenue decline at AOL, which started life as a dial-up Internet service provider dependent on subscriber revenue and has been trying to find a more content-based business model.

In 2011, AOL's revenue was down only 9% from the previous year, which was the lowest rate of revenue decline in five years. Much of the slowdown in revenue decline was attributed to the addition of Huffington

The Huffington purchase by AOL did prompt a federal lawsuit from one of the thousands of unpaid Huffington bloggers who contribute to the site. Activist Jonathan Tasini, a journalist and union organizer, filed a suit last April seeking $105 million, or a third of the purchase price, on behalf of himself and an estimated 9,000 unpaid contributors to the site.

But a federal judge dismissed that suit last week.

U.S. District Judge John Koeltl wrote in his decision that "The principles of equity and good conscience do not justify giving the plaintiffs a piece of the purchase price when they never expected to be paid, repeatedly agreed to the same bargain, and went into the arrangement with eyes wide open." To top of page

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