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Tim Armstrong, Chairman and CEO of AOL, talks at a media summit, Thursday, March 10, 2011 in New York Mark Lennihan via AP/Press Association Images

AOL to cut hundreds of jobs following HuffPo buyout

Online giant is streamlining and seeking to become a major source of news and other content.

AOL HAS ANNOUNCED it will slash 900 jobs worldwide, or nearly 20 per cent of its work force, partly to eliminate overlap resulting from its recent purchase of The Huffington Post.

About 200 of the job losses will come from the US with the remaining 700 coming from India,  which mainly provides back-office support to the American company. However, 300 of those will move to other companies that are taking over support functions.

The cuts leave AOL with 3,500 employees in the US and about 500 overseas. The total workforce is a fifth of what the company had at its peak in 2004, when its staff numbered more than 20,000.

AOL, once the ubiquitous provider of internet services in the US,  paid $315 million for The Huffington Post as part of its efforts to become an online source for news and other content. That deal was finalised on Monday.

Speaking at a conference in New York, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong said the company has no immediate plans for further layoffs, but “in our situation we don’t have the luxury of long-term planning”, he added.

Armstrong said AOL will hire this year and will try to have more full-time journalists in its ranks to rely less on freelancers. He said about half the staff now is in content-producing roles, and he wants to increase that to 70 per cent.