Huffington Post overhauls video operation

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Huffington Post is sharply curtailing HuffPost Live because people are consuming video differently now.

There are big changes coming to the Huffington Post's video operations, a shift that will sharply curtail the website's much-hyped live streaming network.

In a memo posted on Twitter, Huffington Post editor-in-chief and president Arianna Huffington said that the site's manifold video units -- HuffPost Live, HuffPost News, HuffPost Originals, HuffPost Rise -- will be folded into "a unified video team."

The news was first reported by Politico Media, which cited sources saying that the changes have already resulted in layoffs at HuffPost Live, the streaming network that launched in 2012. A source familiar with the shakeup told CNNMoney that the resulting layoffs will affect less than one percent of the Huffington Post's total workforce.

Politico said the consolidation "will effectively see the end of HuffPost Live," but a Huffington Post spokeswoman said the site is "not getting rid" of the streaming network.

"HuffPost Live will no longer broadcast eight hours a day, but will go live for major news events and headline-making celebrity interviews that it has become known for," the spokeswoman said.

In her memo, Huffington spoke glowingly of HuffPost Live, an ambitious undertaking for the site when it launched more than three years ago.

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The company built gleaming, state-of-the-art studios, where HuffPost Live anchors interviewed more than 30,000 guests -- from entertainers to athletes to politicians to journalists. Clips from the network's live shows were pipelined into the Huffington Post's other verticals, providing a video component to the site's text-based stories.

"There was nothing else like it," Huffington said of HuffPost Live. "And there's still nothing else like it."

Huffington said that the site will still do live video "when warranted," but she acknowledged that the internet is different than when HuffPost Live launched.

Related: Coming soon to the Huffington Post: documentaries and scripted shows

"The way the world consumes video has changed dramatically, and we're changing along with it to deliver video as efficiently as possible," she said. "Instead of creating shareable videos by doing eight hours of live video every day, we will be creating videos to be shared directly on an ever-growing range of platforms."

Huffington said the company will invest in long-form documentaries, as well as "original series based on HuffPost's core editorial pillars of What's Working and wellness." On Monday, the site will debut a documentary series on the New Hampshire primary.

The Huffington Post is owned by AOL, which was purchased by Verizon (VZA)last year for $4.4 billion. Since it was founded in 2005, the site has become a traffic monster and one of the most visited news sites on the internet. According to comScore, the Huffington Post had 90.9 million multi-platform U.S. visitors in November.

In recent years, the site has made a concerted effort to ramp up its video production. Last year, the Huffington Post said it wanted half of all content to be video. But its foray into live video has brought challenges. The site launched a weekly, satirical program called "The HuffPost Show" in the spring, but it only lasted until June.

In a similar move, Yahoo shut down its video site Screen last week because of an inability to expand its audience. Screen was launched in 2013 as the centerpiece of Yahoo's video strategy.


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