HuffPo Poaches Revenue Officer From Advertising.com
"I'll be in charge of all revenue streams including ad revenue," said Smith. "As the Huffington Post brand transcends the typical news blogging model, my job will be to partner and seek new revenue streams in areas like video, mobile, commerce, and content distribution."
Since securing $5 million in venture capital this summer, pundit Arianna Huffington has worked to expand her brainchild with video content and staff additions. Just last month, Huffington made a move into original content by hiring Melinda Henneberger as political editor. The former New York Times reporter, who had most recently served as a contributing editor at Newsweek magazine, is expected to hire a number of other journalists to produce original content. Smith's duties will also include overseeing the Huffington Post's relationship with IAC Advertising Solutions, which has served as the site's outside sales team since June. Until the present, Kenneth Lerer, co-founder of The Huffington Post, has managed that partnership, which marked IAC's first foray into selling ad inventory for a company not controlled by Barry Diller.
The addition of Smith will not affect Dennis Chang's present role as vice president of advertising sales at the company. Reporting to Smith, Chang will continue to manage Huffington Post's sales team, and guide U.S. sales development with the IAC team.
Prior to tying up with IAC this summer, the Huffington Post successfully forged deals with companies such as Continental Airlines, AOL, and ad agency JWT (formerly J. Walter Thompson). The arrival of Smith will not have any impact on those deals, according to a Huffington Post spokesman.
For most of Smith's tenure at AOL, he was Senior Vice President of Partner Alliances for AOL Media Networks, AOL's advertising division, developing alliances with the likes of JP Morgan Chase, Travelocity, Best Buy, Sony, and Nintendo. Before that, he was senior vice president and general manager at Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment.
Since September, the Huffington Post has grown 24% in unique users from 2.6 million to 3.2 million, and 55% in page views from 30 million to 48 million.