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AOL Buys Huffington Post For $315M

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Co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington poses with AOL at the Maxim Party Powered by Motorola Xoom at Centennial Hall at Fair Park on February 5, 2011 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for AOL)

Co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington poses with AOL at the Maxim Party Powered by Motorola Xoom at Centennial Hall at Fair Park on February 5, 2011 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for AOL)

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The Los Angeles-based Huffington Post, one of the leading news media Web sites, is being sold to AOL for $315 million, the two companies announced Sunday.

Co-founder Ariana Huffington will become president and editor in chief of a new Huffington Post Media Group division at AOL, Huffington announced on her blog and AOL announced in a news release.

AOL said it is buying the Web site operation with about $300 million in cash.

The buyout has yet to get government approval, but the boards of directors of both companies and shareholders of the Huffington Post have approved the deal, according to AOL.

The deal is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter or the early part of the second quarter of this year.

The deal will boost AOL’s growing news operation, which also includes a network of 800 Patch.com local news websites, as it competes against Yahoo and Google, which are also expanding their news operations, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Other AOL news Web sites will be under Huffington’s control as well.

In her blog, Huffington said she and AOL Chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong signed the agreement at Sunday’s Super Bowl, which she attended for the first time.

“Far from changing our editorial approach, our culture, or our mission, this moment will be for HuffPost like stepping off a fast-moving train and onto a supersonic jet,” she said.

“We’re still traveling toward the same destination, with the same people at the wheel, and with the same goals, but we’re now going to get there much, much faster.”

The Huffington Post site was founded in 2005 and has nearly 25 million unique monthly visitors, AOL reported.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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