Hail to the Chief: Arianna Huffington Becomes Most Powerful Woman in Media History

Rosebud. That’s the famous psychological mantra in Citizen Kane. It’s now also a metaphor for Arianna Huffington in the upper echelon of media.

Almost 6 years after Arianna launched the Huffington Post, today’s $315 million sale to AOL (NYSE:AOL) makes Huffington the first woman to join the elite shortlist of media moguls William Randolph Hearst, Ted Turner (NYSE:TWX), and Rupert Murdoch (NASDAQ:NWSA). Whether you hate Huffington’s opinions or compete fiercely with her online, you still must take your hat off to what will be noted as a historical accomplishment.

As a display of Huffington’s unprecedented power as a woman in media, AOL has conceded to her terms to be Editor-in-Chief of all AOL media content properties. That means with the single stroke of a pen, Arianna now oversees top web destinations such as Patch, Engadget, TechCrunch, Moviefone, PopEater, MapQuest, Black Voices, and Moviefone. Wow.

In an email Huffington sent to staff this morning, she said,

Far from changing the Huffington Post’s editorial approach, our culture, or our mission, it will be like stepping off a fast-moving train and onto a supersonic jet.  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.

If what she’s accomplished in the past six years was at a slower pace than what’s to come, get ready to possibly see more history-making in the near future.

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