Huffington Post More Valuable Than Some Newspaper Cos.

News Blog's Infusion of Cash Sets It Apart From Rivals Like Drudge

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As long-rumored, The Huffington Post took $25 million in new funding at a $100 million valuation. It's a healthy sum given the company has aggregated a huge audience -- 8.8 million people a month, accordng to Quantcast -- primarily on links to content it does not produce (newspaper stories) or pay for (columns).

The funding means Arianna Huffington's news blog is now considered more valuable by its backers than quite a few publicly traded newspaper companies, such as Lee Enterprises, owner of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and 52 other papers (market cap: $36 million), A.H. Belo, owner of the Dallas Morning News and the Providence Journal (market cap: $35 million), and Media General, owner of the Tampa Tribune and Richmond Times-Dispatch (market cap: $34.6 million).

It puts Huffington Post in the same league as McClatchy Corp., owner of the Sacramento Bee, Miami Herald and 28 other dailies (market cap: $150 million). In a press release, Huffington Post said it will use the funds from Oak Investment Partners for acquisitions, an "investigative journalism initiative" and localized versions, which will no doubt be even more dependent on the resident struggling local dailies such as in Chicago, where it already has a local site.

Granted, Huffington Post has few of the costs of running a daily newspaper and none of the debt carried by many of these companies. Like The Drudge Report, The Huffington Post built a business linking to content; unlike Drudge, Huffington Post has now raised a considerable amount of money ($37 million, all told), and has quite a few employees (46).

Despite the downturn crippling media, and especially newspaper stocks, Huffington Post still has a ways to go to catch up with New York Times Co. (market cap: $1 billion) and The Washington Post Co. (market cap: $3.3 billion).
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