According to Forbes Magazine, the Huffington Post is now turning a profit.
A snap shot of the internet powerhouse:
HuffPo has grown from a hyperspare operation with a cadre of volunteer journalists to a hefty organization with 6,000 unpaid bloggers and 186 paid staffers. It has put in place a new group of executives to run the show. From its original core as an aggregator of provocative political views and blogs, it has expanded to include a bewildering collection of 23 so-called verticals, or rubrics (including media, entertainment, sports, business, food and the arts). According to comScore it has built an audience of more than 24 million unique--often boisterous--visitors a month, which puts it just behind the online traffic of the New York Times and ahead of the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. The site has raised a total $37 million in equity financing and, thanks to its last round in December 2008, is valued at $100 million.
Despite the fact that it hasn't made money in 5 years, its impressive growth and recent profit making figures are a sign of what is possible online. According to Forbes:
HuffPo's revenue will triple this year; Coleman wants to double it again in 2011. An aggressive target but a must to ensure it can justify its $100 million valuation, which Hippeau claims is "higher than that today, given our performance."
While newspapers are still struggling in the new media economy it is nice to see strictly online ventures paving the way for more dynamic content producing business models. It may not be perfect, but the Huff Post is undoubtedly a force for good. It is growing which means more opportunities for journalists, and it proves that there is still a market for good writing.