Kara Swisher

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Arianna Goes (Even More) Global: HuffPost Live Launches WorldPost in Berggruen Institute Partnership

HuffPost Live Host Ahmed Shihab-Eldin speaking with Mehdi Hasan, political director of HuffPost UK.

HuffPost Live Host Ahmed Shihab-Eldin speaking with Mehdi Hasan, political director of HuffPost U.K.

HuffPost Live, the Huffington Post’s live-streaming network, is adding a new editorial element — called The WorldPost — in a bid to dramatically expand its global coverage.

(Translation: The world is apparently not enough for Arianna, who is doubtlessly now contemplating HuffPost Space.)

According to the AOL-owned content unit, which claims that 40 percent of the site’s audience is now coming from outside the U.S. — HuffPost Live will now focus on “world coverage, including a daily hour-long look at the stories sparking conversations around the globe — featuring contributions from editors and reporters from HuffPost’s 7 (soon to be 10) international editions.”

To do so, it has struck a partnership with the Berggruen Institute, a non-partisan “think and action tank” founded by Nicholas Berggruen. Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt, who is part of the think tank, will join the editorial board of the WorldPost.

“This is a perfect storm moment for HuffPost’s expansion into globally-focused live programming,” said Arianna Huffington, who is president and editor-in-chief of AOL’s Huffington Post Media Group. She said that it will “eventually result in a stand-alone HuffPost Live International network.”

Among some of the global features, as described by HuffPost: “Global Gay Voices,” about what it’s like to be gay in different parts of the world; “The Third Metric Around the World,” about how people are looking at success beyond the two metrics of money and power to include well-being, wisdom and giving back; and “Your 15 Seconds,” which will focus on the creators of the day’s/week’s top international Vine and Instagram videos.

WorldPost’s editor will be Nathan Gardels. Peter Goodman, the HuffPost’s executive business editor, will also expand his portfolio as the WorldPost’s global news editor.

“Rooted in a global perspective that crosses all boundaries, it will be connect-the-dots news and analysis covering everything from politics and culture to lifestyle and entertainment,” said Berggruen, whose institute will be providing funding for stringers worldwide and other programming. The HuffPost declined to say how much that will be, but it is over $1 million.

AOL has put a lot of resources into HuffPost Live, in an aggressive bid to expand its video offerings and to garner those fast-growing revenues.

But, as Peter Kafka wrote in March:

“If you’re looking at HuffPost Live as a standalone news ‘channel’ a la CNN or Fox News, it has a much more modest reach: A bit more than two million viewers a month, and a live audience that wouldn’t register by TV standards … My hunch is that in most cases, actual live viewing will be a relatively niche activity, for people who really, really care about a particular topic, band, political issue, etc.”

On August 13, a year after launch, the HuffPost released figures on its progress, by way of an infographic — natch! — embedded below:


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work