France, Italy, Spain: The Huffington Post is expanding to Europe. After having launched editions in the UK and Canada last year, Arianna Huffington is now taking her news, blogging and aggregation site into continental Europe and non-Anglophone markets.
As reported yesterday by the Wall Street Journal, the French edition "Le Huffington" will be launched on January 23, under the editorial direction of Anne Sinclair, a well-known TV journalist (and wife of the former head of the IMF Dominique Strauss-Kahn.)
It was announced today (via PrimaComunicazione) that HuffPost has also signed an agreementwith Gruppo Editoriale L'Espresso to land in Italy.
As paidContent reported, the Italian partnership follows the pattern chosen for the French edition and for the Spanish one that is due to launch in March: team up with one or more local media partners, usually amongst the major national brands.
The French partners are Le Monde Group and Les Nouvelles Editons Indépendante while the Italian one, Gruppo L'Espresso, publishes the national daily Repubblica and the newsmagazine L'Espresso. The Spanish El Huffington Post will be set up with the cooperation of Grupo Pisa, publisher of El Pais.
PaidContent explained the local partnerships saying that "instead of being the outsider jumping in to fill a gap or do X, Y or Z better than anyone already on the scene, HuffPo is the outsider working with entrenched insiders to blend aggregation, original reporting and local blogging in a true national edition".
Rumours, reported by Forbes' Jeff Bercovici, also suggest that AOL's Huffington Post Media Group giant is also planning to launch a live web TV network, along the lines of 24 hour cable news networks.
Bercovici quoted sources saying that the idea is to have the 320 editors and reporters of Huffpo's newsroom appear on the stream live during the day, analysing breaking news events in real time.