IWNY 2010: Aol Wants to be Newspapers’ Best Friend

david-eun060810.jpg Last night, The Hollywood Reporter held its annual Digital Power 50 event at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. In addition to honoring 50 power players from new and traditional media, David Eun, president of AOL media and studios, sat down for a discussion with Andrew Wallenstein, THR’s editor of digital media.

Eun says that the new, content-centric Aol (he calls the company a “startaround”) produces 80% of its content in-house… but it is in the market for content partners.

“Aol has to double down on partnerships,” Eun said. “We do produce 80% of our content in-house, but we don’t assume that all the good experiences and all the good content can be produced in one place, and it is around this room [referring to the media executives attending the event].”

Eun also said that newspapers, many of which are fighting for their existence in the light of declining ad revenue, are perfect examples of traditional media companies Aol is looking to reach out to.

“We want to partner with newspapers,” Eun said.

The Aol exec recalled his first meeting with Aol CEO Tim Armstrong, who he worked with at Google. Armstrong was tasked with finding a way to turn around the media giant’s fortunes.

“The vision that he laid out for me about AOL was super compelling,” Eun recalled. “He said ‘we need to turn around AOL, and I want to make content the pivot point.’”

And while much of that content is produced in-house by blogs like Engadget and Daily Finance, he says one of the biggest opportunies for growth will come from those content partnerships.

“The scale of what Aol is, while still a shadow of its former self, is still pretty significant,” Eun said. “From the perspective of a company that interacts with lots of consumers, there are interesting ways that we can partner with different content producers, different people that provide products and services, to create a deeper, engaging experience for folks that want to engage with us.”

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