Hollywood snarks fly about Oprah-HuffPo pairing

David Martosko Executive Editor
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Leave it to gossip grand dame Nikki Finke to say what’s on much of Hollywood’s minds.

On Wednesday, the Huffington Post announced a partnership with Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network — one that will give Oprah her own section on the news and story-aggregation website.

“Just what their readers don’t need: yet another artificially created dialogue,” Finke wrote at Deadline Hollywood just hours before the news became public.

Reuters noted that the OprahPo (Huff-pra?) partnership is aimed at helping the long-time former talk show host recapture some of the audience she lost when her eponymous show went off the air. The OWN network laid off 30 members of its staff this year amid problems created, in part, by the ratings failure of a show hosted by Rosie O’Donnell.

And Finke notes that Arianna Huffington originally had “editorial control of AOL’s online properties” after the once-powerful Web company bought her site. “But now she’s lost that and is only editorially in charge of HuffPo again.”

“Talk about a lose-lose situation,” wrote Finke.”Recent reports say Arianna Huffington’s job duties over AOL have been greatly downsized, while Oprah Winfrey’s failing OWN remains on life support at Discovery after losing millions. So what do the two women do? Why join forces, of course. This pathetic pairing sounds to me like an ill-conceived partnership.”

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