Just over a year after she was anointed queen of content, Arianna Huffington has been knocked down the ladder a couple of rungs at AOL. Instead of overseeing all editorial operations, the 61-year-old digital media maven will focus solely on The Huffington Post which is scheduled to expand to 13 languages. The shift means that Huffington will no longer oversee large AOL media properties like TechCrunch, Engadget and AOL.com but rather concentrate on growing her namesake, which is essentially what she did before the AOL acquisition.
Every way we look at it, it seems like Huffington just got demoted. Nevertheless, she sounds both positive and proactive about the changes. There's even chatter about private equity firms buying the site back from AOL. "Listen, The Huffington Post is growing explosively, so obviously there are private equity people who are interested in it. But I'm very happy, [AOL chief executive] Tim Armstrong is very happy. We keep unlocking HuffPost value, which is very good for the parent company. So all is good," Huffington said at Business Insider's Startup 2012 Conference on Thursday according to The Wall Street Journal's Keach Hagey. To clarify the supposed demotion, she said, "What I asked for is for us to be more independent, to have technology, marketing and [business development] now into Huffington Post, so that we can accelerate all our growth, and for me to be freed up to just concentrate exclusively on HuffPost."