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Huffington Post CEO comments on tech, media mashup

NEW YORK — The Huffington Post covers the popular news of the day — and continues to follow those stories as long as they are in high demand by its readers — even if that means more coverage of Tiger Woods’ troubles.

"We love the Tiger Woods story," said Eric Hippeau, CEO for The Huffington Post, who described it as "the gift that kept on giving."

In addition to those celebrity news items that the tabloids commonly feast upon, the site also extensively covers news stories such as the protests and unrest in Iran and the incredible devastation from the earthquake in Haiti, drawing a massive audience and plenty of reader interaction.

The online news site even inspires citizen journalists to cover events as they unfold when the mainstream media are largely absent.

"We had this network of people in Iran … (who) kept feeding us stories and photos which proved to be incredibly accurate," he said, adding that the site carried the Iran drama as its top story for more than a week.

Political coverage amounts to about 20 to 25 percent of the site’s content, Hippeau said Wednesday, during a discussion at the Real Estate Connect conference in New York City.

"We’re very big in popular culture, and business," he said, and more recently launched a sports section. The site also features a comedy section, with digital video clips and other content.

"Everything we do is telling stories about current events. We are as much social network as we are a content site," Hippeau said.

The unique monthly visitors at the site can range up to 35 million per month, eclipsing the traffic of such mainstream news sites as the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

Individual items at the site can gather hundreds and even thousands of comments. …CONTINUED