Tim O'Brien leaves The Huffington Post; editor was a driving force in the site's pursuit of 'capital J' journalism
Tim O'Brien, executive editor of The Huffington Post and Arianna Huffington's main deputy in the newsroom, is leaving the site to work on his next book.
Last week, digital-media guru Jeff Jarvis wrote a post challenging reporters to explain why they were attending the conventions. Here is one answer: Free lunch and massages.
The magazine, O'Brien announced during a companywide meeting Wednesday afternoon, has switched to an unpaid model.
“’HuffPost Live’ is all about engagement and making the HuffPost community an integral part of the dynamic, ongoing conversation that will be the heart and soul of the network,” said Arianna Huffington in a statement “And we wanted to have a launch as innovative as the project itself, as opposed to a traditional top-down approach. ‘HuffPost Live 3,2,1…’ allows us to reach out to our community members and begin a dialogue with them about what kind of network they want to be part of, as well as what kind of stories they want to talk about.”
When the writer, director and producer was diagnosed several years ago with myelodysplastic syndrome, a pre-leukemia condition, she successfully kept the information inside an intimate and large social circle, a phenomenon that is in retrospect unsurprising upon reading the vast number of remembrances from actors, writers, producers, directors, editors, journalists and novelists who took to the web or gave interviews to newspapers to remember her.
"It's basically the difference between a one-night stand and a long getaway when you want to get to know someone really intimately," she said, drawing laughter from the few hundred party-goers gathered on the greenhouse-like rooftop of The Gramercy Park Hotel, where Huffington and her staff were feting Huffington., or, as Huffington called it, "Huffington period."
Roy Sekoff, Huffington Post's founding editor and a top lieutenant of the site's matriarch, Arianna Huffington, ran the meetings in which he also announced some of talent recently recruited for the venture. He named former Al Jazeera English co-host Ahmed Shihab-Eldin (whose hiring was previously reported by Ad Age) , but added to the ist Alicia Menendez, the daughter of New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez, who is a co-host of “Power Play” on SiriusXM Cristina Radio and a contributor to NBCLatino.com; and Marc Lamont Hill, a Columbia University professor and former Fox News analyst.(1)
Arianna Huffington says she's 'very happy' to be owned by AOL, but doesn't deny rumor she wants to buy her site back
"Listen, The Huffington Post is growing explosively," Huffington told Henry Blodget in an interview during Business Insider's Startup 2012 conference, "so obviously there are private equity people who are interested, but I'm very happy, [AOL chief executive] Tim Armstrong is very happy, and we keep unlocking HuffPost value because all is good."
A change at the top of The Huffington Post's business desk: More of Peter Goodman on the 'middle class'
Goodman notified his staff this morning that he is moving into more of a full-time writing and reporting role, Capital has learned, though he will remain executive business editor in title and will continue to supervise the coverage from a big-picture standpoint. For the time being, Neil Katz, The Huffington Post's executive news editor, will oversee the day-to-day coverage and manage individual writers' beats.
As is so often the case in these sorts of amicable partings between high-powered in-house public-relations types and their former firms, his first big client is The Huffington Post.
Frequently asked question:
Are you competing with The Huffington Post?
No, our business models are different. They hope to gain as much traffic as possible from search; we are oriented toward social networks. Plus it'd be awkward. Ken Lerer and Jonah Peretti were both in the founding team of The Huffington Post.
Yes. There is a competitive space opening up right now, and it's one The Huffington Post and a few of the other "big guys" are used to dominating.
Patch sites in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina are not just lucky to have the primaries; they were formed in anticipation of them as a strategic maneuver after the $315 million acquisition of The Huffington Post by AOL, which owned Patch. Fineman worked on integrating the two brands: The Huffington Post was to continue its successful run as an aggregator of content and also engage in an aggressive build-up of reporters and editors responsible for breaking original stories on the site, which now includes hundreds of bylines and satellite offices around the world; Patch was a network of hyperlocal websites in 850 communities across the country.(1)
A test for AOL's Patch proposition in primary states, as hyperlocal network dispatches little green truck
"I saw the chairman of the state G.O.P. walk by the R.V., so I ran after him, turned him around and invited him into the Patchback for a video exclusive," said Dan Tuohy, a regional editor for the Patch sites, via email. "I posted it at 12:30, just before the guy went live on Fox."(1)
"It's going to be very, very rooted in Spanish culture and politics, but with The Huffington Post template of curation, original reporting and blogging," Huffington said in an interview with Capital.
The deal closed on Thursday.(9)