There’s a great piece at Capital New York that probably has the best forecast for what will become of this AOL/HuffPo marriage:
So, my final, gut prediction, which I would be very pleased to see falsified: Arianna Huffington will create a vital and interesting news desk that in the short term garners AOL praise as a remarkably ambitious and high-quality web-native news operation. It will gain traction against other web operations and will even look, for a while, like it’s making a little bit of a run at the big guys, like cnn.com and nytimes.com.
Traffic will increase—slightly. There will be reports of budget overruns and creative disputes. […] Within a year, several of the most high-profile editorial hires will leak out to a variety of other news organizations, some old and some new. Before long you will be wondering what happened to all those names. And finally, the fast-and-cheap view of “journalism” will return to AOL-Huffpo, amid reports of mild success after a rocky start, all judged on pageviews and profit margins; the “quality” and “journalism” buzzwords will be forgotten parts of the corporate lexicon. Because, to borrow a phrase from Buch, journalism and the “content” strategy of AOL are misaligned.
If I was a betting man, that’s where I’d put my money.