AOL Folds 30 Online Brands After Huffington Post Merger

AOL Inc. is planning to fold about 30 of its online media brands, including Politics Daily, PopEater, Luxist and others, according to multiple reports.

AOL Inc. is planning to fold about 30 of its online media brands, including Politics Daily, PopEater, Luxist and many others, according to the multiple reports. Photo: Chris Stolfi/Flickr

AOL is planning to shutter about 30 of its online media brands, according to the multiple reports.  The company just notified staffers of a major consolidation of its portfolio of content sites, undertaken as part of its merger with the Huffington Post.

AOL Inc., the New York-based Internet portal, which paid $315 million to acquire the Huffington Post, a high-profile news and opinion website, earlier will essentially close down dozens of its dedicated content sites – some being shuttered completely and others integrated with existing Huffington Post sites.

All told, some 30 brands will be “integrated” into other properties seen as stronger by editor in chief Arianna Huffington. Among those to be absorbed are Politics Daily (folded into HuffPost Politics), Walletpop (folded into Daily Finance), Urlesque (folded into HuffPost Comedy), Luxist (folded into Stylelist) and TV Squad (folded into AOL TV). The full list below.

Some of these sites, including Luxist, Holidash and That’s Fit, were left entirely without staff of their own after the layoff of more than 200 employees two weeks ago, according to the Business Insider.

Other well-known AOL brands, such as its celebrity website PopEater will keep its name but no longer exist as separate destination sites. PopEater will be integrated into HuffPo’s entertainment.

Another AOL Brand StyleList will remain as a standalone brand and AOL’s Shelterpop will become StyleList at Home, integrating into StyleList. But it will all now be called Stylist – losing the “e” and capped “L.”

The changes are causing some tension within AOL, given it is a drastic shift from relatively recent efforts to expand its portfolio of editorial sites.

Also on deck for tomorrow will be letters sent out to freelancers about new plans to hire some–though not all–of them. According to several sources, AOL content head Arianna Huffington outlined the plan to editors recently, stressing the need to focus on staff-generated and more journalistically focused content.

One thing that is not happening is the appointment of a new editor-in-chief for AOL’s flagship tech news site, Engadget. BoomTown reported on the recent departure of Engadget’s top two editors, Editor-in-Chief Josh Topolsky and Managing Editor Nilay Patel.

The news rocketed around the small echo chamber that is the tech blogosphere, which is no surprise since Engadget is one of the largest sites on the Web covering the tech sector.

In the interim, staffer Darren Murph has been appointed managing editor of Engadget. He reports to Joshua Fruhlinger, editorial director for Engadget, Switched and AOL Tech. Brad Hill is the business director for the properties.

Engadget is one of the largest in tech, with 14 million unique visitors a month. Its main competitor is Gawker’s Gizmodo. AOL also owns TechCrunch, another tech news site.

Here are all the brands that are going away: Aisledash; AOL News; AOL Radio Blog; AOL Small Business; Autoblog Green; Big Download; Bloggingstocks; DIY Life; Gadling; GameDaily; Holidash; HuffPost Travel; Indiewire; JSYK.

And also: Luxist; MyAOL; Politics Daily; Royal Wedding; Slashcontrol; Slashfood; Streampad; Switched; That’s Fit; The BVX; Tourtracker; TV Squad; Urlesque; Walletpop; Where It’s At. [via Mashable and Forbes]

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