A Happy Birthday at Press Club: Arianna and AOL

Less than six months since the biggest merger in online news history, AOL (America Online) chief executive Tim Armstrong and Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington were the headliners at a National Press Club lunch, July 15 — Huffington’s 61st birthday — to discuss the deal and the future of journalism, on-line and traditional. Since its $315 million purchase of Huffington Post in February, AOL has hired some of the biggest names in journalism while simultaneously eliminating the jobs of hundreds of full and part-time writers, editors and other employees across America. The rebuilding AOL is reshaping the entire news industry with outlets like Patch, Huffington Post and AOL specialty brands such as AOL Energy, AOL Defense and the planned AOL Government. “Self-expression is the new entertainment,” Huffington said. “People want to be part of the story of their times.” Among those at the lunch were former Sen.William Cohen and his wife Janet Langhart, Aspen Institute head Walter Isaacson, formerly of Time and CNN, media guru Tammy Haddad and publicist Jan Duplain.

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