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The explosion of titles under the Huffington umbrella continues unabated after it was announced that , Le Huffington Post, a French version of the US news and opinion portal will be going live in November. The site will be run in conjunction with The Le Monde Group
According to The Huffington Post Media Group, Le Huffington Post will combine the local editorial resources of Le Monde with The Huffington Post’s pioneering combination of original reporting, aggregation, a leading-edge commenting forum and dynamic social engagement tools, and a vibrant platform for a wide range of bloggers.
In an interview with Le Monde, Arianna Huffington explained that even though it was the French version of the Huffington Post, as it will be run by French journalists, “It will be rooted in the French culture”.
Huffington, formerly a dependably conservative US political commentator but now staunchly liberal, launched The Huffington Post in 2005 as a liberal counter to conservative online news outlets such as the Drudge Report.
In March of this year, the embattled America Online (AOL) acquired The Huffington Post for US$315-million, of which US$300-million was paid in cash. The acquisition led to the creation of the Huffington Post Media Group. Arianna Huffington was immediately installed as the editor-in-chief of the new online media titan.
In the months following the acquisition, the pace at which the Huffington Post Media Group has expanded has been astounding.
In a press-release before the news of Le Huffington Post was made public, the Huffington Post Media Group explained that in the eight months since the acquisition, 21 sections of Huffington Post had been launched. The sections have included niche offerings such as HuffPost Gay Voices, but also portals for entire countries such as HuffPost UK and now Le Huffington Post.
The Huffington Post Media group also announced that “the site recorded its largest number of unique visitors per month… and also surpassed 1-billion page views for the first time”.
The acquisition has not been without its controversies, such as unpaid Huffington Post contributors taking the new media group to court, the recent Michael Arrington/Techcrunch debacle and constant rumours of staff unhappiness and unhealthy competition.