That figure, which includes Patch’s 800-plus editors, “boggles those who worked at HuffPo, where she oversaw a staff that maxed out at about 70,” writes Jeff Bercovici. Former Huffington Post chief revenue officer Greg Coleman tells him that Arianna Huffington is “a world-class politician, a world-class media maven and a genius at p.r., but she’s not an experienced manager.” Coleman continues:
I know Arianna very well. She wanted three things: a big bag of gold, a big fat contract, which she deserved, and … unilateral decision-making over her world. And that is where you’re going to have some problems. Arianna hates to be managed.
Bercovici notes that AOL chairman Tim Armstrong has pledged to get operating income growing by 2013 — it lost $782 million in 2010 and earned $4.7 million through the first quarter of 2011 — and, “as 2013 approaches, Armstrong could be forced to choose between keeping his promises to Wall Street or making good on his pledge to Huffington to create the next great American newsroom.”
If shareholders win, putting a crimp in her costly dream, Arianna will probably walk–and Armstrong will be back where he was six months ago.