If anyone doubts that The Huffington Post is now a major media player… well, they can chew on the fact that their new CEO is the former chief of CBSNews.com. Betsy Morgan will take over at HuffPo and oversee the site’s operations and strategy. At CBS, Morgan was responsible for overseeing the network’s news-on-demand service and developing original content for the web. The Times sees this as a sign that online journalism is the future. The fawning coverage in the Financial Times does not hurt either:
Larry Kramer, who first hired Ms. Morgan when he was an executive at CBS and who now works as a senior adviser for Polaris Venture Partners, said it was significant that an executive like Ms. Morgan would move from a mainstream news site – and that The Huffington Post would seek a leader from the ranks of traditional journalism.
“New-media companies weren’t doing this before,” Mr. Kramer said. “I think it shows that traditional media companies are further down the road than people think” in terms of “being very helpful for how new media plans to expand.”
Official press release after the jump.
THE HUFFINGTON POST NAMES BETSY L. MORGAN CEO
General Manager of CBSNews.com Joins Leading News and Opinion Site
New York, NY, October 2, 2007 — The Huffington Post, a leading news and opinion site, announced today that Betsy L. Morgan, Senior Vice President at CBS Interactive and the General Manager of CBSNews.com, has been named The Huffington Post’s Chief Executive Officer. The Huffington Post co-founders Arianna Huffington and Kenneth Lerer made the announcement. Ms. Morgan will oversee all operations and strategy for the site. Mr. Lerer will assume the newly created position of Chairman of the Board. Ms. Huffington will remain Editor-in-Chief.
“I’m delighted to welcome Betsy to the team,” said Ms. Huffington. “With her experience driving an industry-leading online news organization, she is the perfect fit for HuffPost as the site continues to innovate and grow. Betsy’s vision will be vital as the site forges ahead in an industry as dynamic and fast-changing as it is exciting.”
Said Mr. Lerer: “Betsy is a superstar, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have her join us as our partner and CEO. She knows the Internet news business from every angle and will lead The Huffington Post through a very exciting ’08 and beyond. The combination of our content, technology and community has been the driving force behind HuffPost’s success, and our plan is to continue to expand to stay ahead of the amazing changes taking place in the industry.”
“This is a tremendous opportunity to work with Arianna and Ken. In less than three years, The Huffington Post has distinguished itself as a major player in interactive news. HuffPost’s range of contributors is extraordinary, its breadth of coverage expansive, and its network of online communities unparalleled. I look forward to helping steer the site toward even greater heights.”
Ms. Morgan joins The Huffington Post from CBS Interactive, where she was in charge of the network’s 24-hour on-demand news service. Under Ms. Morgan’s leadership, CBSNews.com has been an industry-leading provider of advertiser-supported free video across the web and wireless platforms. CBSNews.com has been recognized with several prestigious industry awards.
Before joining CBS Interactive, Ms. Morgan was a Vice President of CBS News in charge of business development, digital media and new television ventures. She began her career at CBS as the Head of the CBS Television Network’s Strategic Management Group working in the Office of the Chairman and CEO of CBS. She has also worked for News Corporation’s American Sky Broadcasting and before that started her career in investment banking. Ms. Morgan has a BA in political science and economics from Colby College and a MBA from Harvard Business School.
About The Huffington Post (www.huffingtonpost.com )
The Huffington Post is a leading online news and opinion site. Founded in 2005, the fast-growing site has over 3.5 million unique users and has become the fifth-most-linked-to news and commentary site on the Internet, according to measurement firm Technorati. Community is a vibrant part of the success of The Huffington Post, which now has over 250,000 comments posted each month on the site. The site offers extensive coverage of politics, media, business, entertainment and living. The Huffington Post attracts an educated and affluent audience and provides a platform for 1,500+ influential opinion-makers who contribute in real-time on a wide-range of topics making news today, including Bill Maher, Nora Ephron, John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, Russ Feingold, Gary Hart, Wesley Clark, Mia Farrow, Vinod Khosla, Bob Shrum, Al Franken, John Ridley, Harry Shearer, Esther Dyson, Ari Emanuel and Alec Baldwin. A comprehensive list of the contributors to The Huffington Post can be found in its bloggers index: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/theblog/index/. The Huffington Post partners include SoftBank Capital, an independent venture capital firm focused on high growth technology based businesses, and Greycroft Partners, a venture capital partnership formed to invest in promising new companies in the digital media space.