AOL Hired 150 Fulltime Journalists In 2009

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AOL hired 150 fulltime editorial staffers and about 3,000 freelancers this year, AOL Media president Bill Wilson told MediaBistro in an interview.

How did that happen?

Bill explains:

The economy obviously took a downturn last fall, and we started to see the fallouts of either cutbacks or full categories becoming less and less covered.

[But] people still obviously have a desire for the content. So we’ve seen two benefits: one, consumers looking for places to fill those needs that they no longer have, but, two, a significant influx of talent — you know, A+ names, A+ credentials.

And what’s interesting [is] it’s been a domino effect. In January, we hired three or four world-class writers in the sports arena: Jay Mariotti, Greg Couch, Lisa Olson. And then all of the sudden the calls started coming to us, where their friends heard about their experience, the fact that they had a platform to connect directly to consumers, and that was a snowball.

So can AOL save media? Maybe, but you’d better read The Problem With AOL’s Media Strategy.

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