The Huffington Post Heads to France

The Huffington Post announced today that it is starting up an offshoot in France. Le Huffington Post, as the new site will be called, will borrow editorial content from Le Monde as well as Les Nouvelles Editions Indépendantes (“LNEI”). HuffPo and its two media partners will be equal shareholders in the new venture.

An interesting factoid from the presser–Le Monde and the other papers and weeklies under its umbrella only generate 8 million unique users per month. We’re no experts in the European media market, but we’re going to say that’s not very good for France’s paper of record. Reuters reports the paper has been losing a million euros a year on its website. No wonder they’re so ready to hop in bed with HuffPo. How do you say SEO in French?

Press release after the jump:

Paris, France — October 10, 2011 – The Huffington Post Media Group, The Le Monde Group and Les Nouvelles Editions Indépendantes (“LNEI”) today announced plans for the creation of Le Huffington Post, an international version of The Huffington Post, a popular American news and opinion web destination. The partnership will combine The Huffington Post’s powerful platform with local expertise and a strong French editorial network. Le Huffington Post is recruiting an editorial team in preparation for its launch before the end of the year. The announcement was made by Arianna Huffington, President and Editor-in-Chief of The Huffington Post Media Group; Louis Dreyfus, CEO of Le Monde; and Matthieu Pigasse, owner and Chairman of LNEI.

Le Huffington Post will combine the local editorial resources of Le Monde, one of France’s leading and most widely respected dailies, 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. LNEI will contribute original editorial content through its network of journalists and bloggers. M Publicite, part of The Le Monde group, will partner on the site’s advertising. Each of the three partners will be shareholders in Le Huffington Post.

The Huffington Post is part of The Huffington Post Media Group, a leading source of news, opinion, entertainment, community and digital information comprised of 56 destination websites, including The Huffington Post, Moviefone, Engadget, TechCrunch, Patch, StyleList, and MapQuest. The Group’s diverse network of sites combine journalism, technology, engagement, and video to reach a global audience on every platform. The Group has over 20,000 bloggers — from politicians and celebrities to academics and policy experts — who contribute in real-time on a wide-range of topics making news today. Among them are Nora Ephron, Larry Page, Bill Maher, Robert Redford, Madonna, Alec Baldwin, Scarlett Johansson, Russell Simmons, Bill Gates, and Charlie Rose. The Huffington Post has 37 million unique visitors a month, per comScore. The Huffington Post UK and The Huffington Post Canada both launched this year.

Les Nouvelles Editions Indépendantes is the holding company of Matthieu Pigasse, which controls the French cultural weekly magazine and Les Inrockuptibles group, which has a co-controlling stake in Le Monde Group jointly with Pierre Bergé and Xavier Niel, and which also holds various stakes in the French media landscape.

Le Monde Group publishes a newspaper, Le Monde, and several weekly magazines, among them Télérama, Courrier International and La Vie. Through its web sites, lemonde.fr, télérama.fr, courrierinternational.com, la vie.fr, lepost.fr, Le Monde Group has a combined audience of nearly 8M unique monthly visitors. Le Monde is a French daily evening newspaper owned by La Vie-Le Monde Group and edited in Paris. Widely considered France’s newspaper of record, Le Monde was founded in 1944 by Hubert Beuve-Méry, at the request of General Charles de Gaulle, in order to restore integrity to a French press tainted by Nazi collaboration during the occupation.