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Huffington Post Puts Some of Its $315 Million to Good Use

Well, they’re holding fast on that whole not paying bloggers thing, but at least HuffPo has decided to pay a few more writers for their work. On the same day Arianna Huffington officially completed her $315 million deal to sell HuffPo to AOL, the Huffington Post Media Group, as it’s now called, announced six new additions to its reporting team.

From the release:

Yahoo‘s Michael Calderone has been named Senior Media Reporter, the New York Times’ Trymaine Lee has been named Senior Reporter, the New York Daily News’ Michael McAuliffe has been named Senior Congressional Reporter, and The Daily‘s Jon Ward has been named Senior Political Reporter.  Bonnie Kavoussi, about to graduate from Harvard, has been named Business Reporter, and Lucas Kavner, the founding editor of Unigo, which covered college life, has been named Entertainment Reporter.

HuffPo says these hires will be the first of many “as it expands its original reporting across all sections, from politics and entertainment to health, food, style, kids, parenting, personal finance, and more.”

Press release in full after the jump:

New York, NY – March 7, 2011 – The Huffington Post Media Group, a leading source of news, opinion, entertainment, community, and digital information, announces today the addition of six new hires to its reporting team, the first since the Huffington Post joined forces with AOL.  They include both veteran reporters from leading news outlets and talented young journalists who will cover a broad range of subjects.  These six reporters are the first in a host of hires the Huffington Post Media Group will be making in the next few weeks as it expands its original reporting across all sections, from politics and entertainment to health, food, style, kids, parenting, personal finance, and more.

The young reporters are part of the Huffington Post’s Jefferson Program for Young Journalists, an initiative to nurture new journalistic talent by pairing them with seasoned editors, writers, and reporters.  The program is named for the founding father who said that if he had to choose between government without a free press, or a press without a government, he’d readily pick the latter.

Yahoo‘s Michael Calderone has been named Senior Media Reporter, the New York Times’ Trymaine Lee has been named Senior Reporter, the New York Daily News’ Michael McAuliffe has been named Senior Congressional Reporter, and The Daily‘s Jon Ward has been named Senior Political Reporter.  Bonnie Kavoussi, about to graduate from Harvard, has been named Business Reporter, and Lucas Kavner, the founding editor of Unigo, which covered college life, has been named Entertainment Reporter.

“One of the Huffington Post Media Group’s main goals is to deliver engaging and high-impact journalism, and these hires are an exciting addition to our reporting team,” said Arianna Huffington, President and Editor-in-Chief of the Huffington Post Media Group.  ”Michael Calderone has distinguished himself as a top media reporter, and Michael McAuliff has consistently broken away from the pack on Capitol Hill.  Trymaine Lee, who won a Pulitzer for his Hurricane Katrina coverage, will cover national issues impacting the black community, and Jon Ward will provide coverage of national politics, including in-depth reporting of the 2012 race.  We’re also delighted to add Bonnie Kavoussi and Lucas Kavner to our initiative to help develop young journalistic talent.”

Said Tim Armstrong, Chairman & CEO of AOL: “These new hires, which are only the beginning, demonstrate our commitment to great journalism.  An outstanding team of talented editors, writers, and reporters — ranging from award-winning veterans to budding new journalism stars — will be at the heart of the Huffington Post Media Group. One of Arianna’s highest priorities is to build this first-class team across the many content areas covered by AOL and the Huffington Post, and to maximize the impact of their work on every platform, with great reader engagement.”

One of the nation’s leading media reporters, Michael Calderone has been the Senior Media Reporter for Yahoo! News since 2010.  He helped start The Upshot blog and The Cutline media blog for Yahoo! Before that, Calderone covered the media for Politico, where he launched an eponymous blog on the intersection of politics and the press.  He also reported from the campaign trail and national political conventions.  He previously wrote the influential “Off the Record” column for the New York Observer, where he also covered real estate.

Trymaine Lee spent the last four years as a reporter for the New York Times, where he covered Harlem for the paper’s Metro section.  He previously worked at the New Orleans Times-Picayune, where he was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize for its breaking news coverage of Hurricane Katrina.

Michael McAuliff, former Washington Correspondent for the New York Daily News, led the paper’s coverage of Hillary Clinton, the 2008 presidential campaign, and the fight over the 9/11 health and compensation law.  Before coming to the Daily News as a national and metro editor in 2005, he was the National Editor of ABCNews.com.

Jon Ward was Washington Correspondent and bureau chief for The Daily since its launch earlier this year.  Prior to that, he was the White House Correspondent and Senior Political Reporter for The Daily Caller.

Lucas Kavner is founding editor of Unigo, an online platform for college students and graduates about college admissions and college life, and a freelance writer whose work has appeared in McSweeney’s, the Washington Post, and the Dallas Morning News.

Bonnie Kavoussi will join the Huffington Post Media Group as soon as she graduates from Harvard in May.  She is senior reporter at The Harvard Crimson and has interned for the Boston Globe‘s business section, the New York Observer’s real estate section, and the San Antonio Express-News.

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