This morning, Verizon seemed to be on the verge of taking ownership of one of the Internet's flagship news sites, The Huffington Post. But now doubts are swirling around whether the mega-blog will be part of Verizon's $4.4 billion acquisition of AOL.
AOL chief executive Tim Armstrong's memo to his staff certainly didn't make it sound like media maven Arianna Huffington's brainchild would be exempt from the purchase, but now insiders are reporting that Armstrong is being somewhat evasive on HuffPo's fate::
Someone just asked: Is HuffPost part of the deal? "I was under the impression that HuffPost was part of AOL" Tim: "Depends who you ask."
— Alexander C. Kaufman (@AlexCKaufman) May 12, 2015
Re/Code's Kara Swisher reports that AOL is in "advanced discussions" with potential buyers for The Huffington Post, including several private equity firms and German-based digital publisher Axel Springer. The value of the site, purchased for $300 million by AOL in 2011, is now estimated at $1 billion.
At this point, HuffPo's future remains subject to speculation, but it's clear that there's a strong chance it might not become a lasting component of Verizon's new content empire.
UPDATE: An AOL spokesperson issued the following statement this afternoon: "AOL owns a portfolio of premium, global content brands including The Huffington Post, TechCrunch and Engadget, among others, and all of them will continue to be part of our business as we go forward."