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AOL's Huffington Post to launch four new websites, breaks unique visitors record in September
The Huffington Post Media Group (HPMG), part of AOL (NYSE:AOL), announced Monday it will add four new websites to its group this week, as the media giant reported it broke several monthly online records in September, and has acquired Localocracy, a citizen-focused forum site.
This week, the HPMG will launch four new sections: Huffington Post 50, Huffington Post Gay Voices, Huffington Post Weddings, and Huffington Post High School.
Huffington Post 50 will focus on the baby boomer generation, and will cover topics like longevity, relationships and sex, taking care of aging parents and children, and retirement, among other topics. Bloggers for the section will include Bill Maher, Christiane Amanpour, and Ann and Nancy Wilson, the company said.
Actress, producer, and writer Rita Wilson, who will tackle the role of Editor-at-Large for the website, said: "The idea that we boomers are somehow supposed to wind things down as we get older completely escapes me.
"Exploring the minds and hearts of this group of people is exciting. It's never too late to mix things up, change your life, to get to what you really should be doing -- or want to be doing."
Huffington Post Gay Voices, which launched today, covers topics important to the LGBT community - from family and faith, to politics and sexuality. Section bloggers include Christine Quinn, Margaret Cho, and Bruce Vilanch, and The Human Rights Campaign is the inaugural sponsor for the section.
Huffington Post Weddings, which also launched today, offers readers coverage of weddings and marriages from all angles, the HPMG said. Section bloggers include Heidi Klum, Mindy Weiss, Sharon Sacks, Preston Bailey and Reem Acra, among others.
The company will also introduce its Huffington Post High School site tomorrow, which offers a platform for teenage bloggers, and gives teens a chance to discuss social, academic, and cultural topics.
Including these four new websites, the media group will have launched 21 new sections since it merged with AOL (NYSE:AOL) in March. Its other new sites include Huffington Post Black Voices, Huffington Post Canada, Huffington Post Parents, Huffington Post Women, and Style List.
The group also announced it acquired Localocracy, an online forum where citizens can discuss local issues, share concerns, and rank problem-solving ideas. Founded in Amherst, Massachusetts in 2009, Localocracy has now expanded to cover several cities across that state.
"What we've learned with Localocracy is that by harnessing user-generated content, we're able to unleash a lot of people power," commented founders Conor White-Sullivan and Aaron Soules in a joint statement.
"We're excited to be teaming up with The Huffington Post Media Group, a leader in social news and user engagement, and look forward to pushing the boundaries of what can be done when combining journalism and technology for the common good."
HPMG is ever-expanding. It recorded its largest number of unique visitors per month in September at 37 million. The company also said it surpassed one billion page views for the first time, and had a record 5.1 million comments in August.
President and Editor-in-Chief, Arianna Huffington, added: "We're also thrilled to welcome Lisa Belkin, who has built a large following with her writing on parenting and work/life balance issues, and who is a leader in online community building. She'll be launching her 'Parentlode' blog on October 17th."