Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

This Was Inevitable: Huffington Post + Oprah Coming

While it might seem as though Web content queen Arianna Huffington could soon launch a moon edition of her eponymous Huffington Post — perhaps HuffPo Lunar — the AOL-owned unit’s next effort will be an Oprah Winfrey section on the huge online publishing platform.

The Oprah Winfrey Network and Huffington Post Media Group said today that they will officially debut the jointly run site in August, part of a just-struck partnership between the brands.

Under terms of the deal, there will be a dedicated version of the Oprah.com site on the Huffington Post platform, with more robust interactive offerings and also with tightly integrated access to the much larger HuffPo audience.

In the year to date, Oprah.com has been averaging just five million monthly unique visitors, while the Huffington Post has close to 37 million.

It also now has 66 vertical sites — with the next to launch in early June in Madrid, called El Huffington Post.

So far, the new Oprah site will not be called HuffPOprah; its content will be supplied by writers and producers of Oprah.com, which will continue to operate independently.

And, topically speaking, it will be vintage Oprah, covering personal growth, spirituality and aspects of physical and mental health.

“The Huffington Post Oprah section will contain a mix of articles, blogs and interactive content that will connect with the audience on an emotional and spiritual level,” said the pair in a press release. “The site will provide practical advice and resources encouraging people to discover their best selves and to lead happier, more fulfilling lives by taking steps to attain their goals.”

“This is about having even more engagement with the audience for all the content that Oprah produces with our network of bloggers and communities,” said Huffington in an interview. “Engagement is the key.”

Added OWN President Erik Logan: “We have done a lot of syndication deals with other partners, but we recognized for some time that we need to intersect with content wherever and however it may be. So, we wanted to try something big and different.”

Oprah has actually already tried “different” in a hookup with the Flipboard reader app last year.

Logan said that while Oprah.com will continue to sell its own advertising, it will rely on AOL to hawk ads for the new site.

“We trust the Huffington Post with our brand,” said Logan. “There is no doubt from our point of view that we will be reaching a highly engaged customer.”

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There was a worry before I started this that I was going to burn every bridge I had. But I realize now that there are some bridges that are worth burning.

— Valleywag editor Sam Biddle