DESPERATE: HuffPo & Oprah Team Up Now

Talk about a lose-lose situation… Recent reports say Arianna Huffington’s job duties over AOL have been greatly downsized, while Oprah Winfrey’s failing OWN remains on life support at Discovery after losing millions. So what do the two women do? Why join forces, of course. This pathetic pairing sounds to me like an ill-conceived partnership, and it’s interesting that no mention is made of AOL which bought HuffPo last year. Today the Huffington Post Media Group and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network announced the launch of an Oprah Winfrey section on coming August 2012. The special section on the website will feature content created and curated by writers and producers from OWN and specifically for The Huffington Post. Additionally, the section will call upon The Huffington Post’s network of bloggers and community to focus on content “to enlarge the conversation on living our best lives, as Oprah puts it,” said Huffington. Just what their readers don’t need: yet another artificially created dialogue. Winfrey’s OWN can’t capitalize on Oprah’s former popularity when she had her own syndicated talk show. Now analysts are betting that Discovery will pull the plug if topper David Zaslav can figure out a way to rationalize it, and all the money he’s wasted (one recent report predicts a $142M writedown), to Wall Street. As for Arianna, she was given editorial control of AOL’s online properties after HuffPo’s sale. But now she’s lost that and is only editorially in charge of HuffPo again.

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