Arianna Huffington Stays at AOL as Verizon Signals It Wants Content

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Arianna Huffington has secured a four-year contract to retain her numerous positions, including editor-in-chief of Huffington Post, a move that apparently resolves concerns she had about Verizon's (VZ) pending acquisition of AOL (AOL), Huffington Post's parent company.

Huffington was concerned that the deal would jeopardize her plans to expand original reporting and video programming.

"After all my meetings and conversations with (AOL CEO) Tim (Armstrong) and the Verizon leadership, I am convinced that we will have both the editorial independence and the additional resources that will allow HuffPost to lead the global media platform shift to mobile and video," Huffington wrote in a memo, according to media reports.

Huffington had let her previous contract expire as she questioned Verizon's intentions. The renewed contract indicates that Verizon is eager to invest in the Huffington Post to boost advertising.

On Friday, shares of Verizon were down 25 cents to $47.52, cutting their advance this year to 1.6%.

In May, Verizon said it agreed to buy AOL for $4.4 billion in cash, or $50 a share, to tap into a crowded online-video marketplace and to use AOL's ad technology.

Extending Huffington's contract comes as AOL has been accelerating its push into digital advertising, the impetus behind Verizon's purchase of the New York-based company. AOL is forming its own in-house creative agency focused on sponsored content in an effort to capitalize on new forms of advertising as Verizon seeks ways to better monetize its broadband network.

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