AOL starts global Huffington Post rollout in the UK

At first we’re just going to get a home page but then the UK will become the first own-branded overseas edition of the Huffington Post, the news and comment aggregator website started by Arianna Huffington (formerly Stassinopolous) and recently bought by AOL for $315m.

AOL has already said it was looking at emerging markets like Brazil for more Huff Post editions so it’s interesting that it’s picked the UK (maybe it sees the UK as an emerging market).

Stassinopolous, who first appeared on the British scene as the socialite girlfriend of the late newspaper columnist Bernard Levin, clearly fancies a triumphant return to her former stamping ground (she’s been based in the US for the last few decades) in her new role as editorial director of the Huff Post and other AOL editorial online activities.

To date the Huff Post’s commercial model has been based on advertising and it is modestly profitable in the US. As such it will pose an interesting challenge for newspaper-owned sites beloved of the UK chattering classes, especially the similarly liberal-inclined (and free) Guardian.

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