Huffington cited opportunities to grow local news with Patch.com sites, use AOL's state-of-the-art video studios, and venture into news sections the Huffington Post was missing in coverage as motivation behind the merger.
In February 2010, PRWeek featured Huffington in a Journalist Q&A where she provided this response about her goals for the news site:
“My goal for 2010 is the same as it's been from the beginning: to play a part in influencing conversation nationally. To accomplish this, we will continue to grow and expand. That means more original reporting, more bloggers, more video, more ways for our community to engage with the site - including making it easier for users to comment, share stories, and contribute pictures, videos, and stories.
We've always been willing to experiment with new tools, technologies, and ways of telling a story. That won't change. It's a part of our DNA.
I also think we'll keep growing. We have a great response from the public and we've introduced a lot of social media in relation to Facebook and Twitter. We have a very engaged community. That's one of the things we love about the response.”
As head of the Huffington Post Media Group, which will form as a result of the merger, Huffington will use her oversee all of AOL's content, including MapQuest, AOL Music, Patch, Engadget, and TechCrunch.
PR professionals should be watching for new opportunities that will arise as the merger develops and if Huffington can transform AOL into a successful media giant.