AOL has been on a hiring spree over the past year, scooping up more than 900 hundred journalists. Still, the New Yorker's Ken Auletta wrote a couple weeks ago, in a profile of chief executive Tim Armstrong, that "AOL does not seem to be saving journalism, and journalism does not yet seem to be saving AOL." Some journalists who had worked for AOL questioned the company's commitment to quality journalism.
While it remains to be seen how much emphasis AOL editorial puts on reporting, a leaked "master plan" indicates that the company is certainly ramping up "content production" (as indicated in the above slide).
Business Insider's Nicholas Carlson reports that AOL is looking to increase editorial "content production" from 33,000 stories per month to 55,000 by April, among other targets. In a move sure to rankle old school journalists, the 58-page document emphasizes revenue, boosting page views and search engine optimization rather than, say, reporting and breaking news.
Carlson writes that AOL's editors have four considerations for what to cover: traffic potential, revenue potential, edit quality and turn-around time. Check out "The AOL Way" here.
(Obvious disclosure: AOL and Yahoo! are competitors)
- search engine optimization
- Tim Armstrong
- chief executive