Arianna Huffington has made her triumphant return to the country where she spent her salad days and Huffington Post UK went live this morning.
“In so many ways my time in Britain set the course of my life,” writes Ms. Huffington in her first editor’s note, “I started (and finished) college here. I started (and finished) my first serious love affair here. I didn’t move away from my childhood home in Greece as much as I moved to Britain.” (That last sentence doesn’t quite scan, but whatever.)
The site is edited by Carla Buzasi, editor-in-chief of AOL Europe, and has a staff of ten. The ranks of unpaid British bloggers is said to include Tony Blair and Kelly Osbourne.
So far the landing page is pretty much all coverage of the News of the World phone hacking scandal, as well as an article about British papers expanding online in the U.S. and Prince William and Kate Middleton’s visit to Canada. There is also a hagiographic blog post about Arianna Huffington by the actress Tracey Ullman, as well as posts by Ricky Gervais, Sarah Brown and Alistair Campbell.
The reaction so far appears to be muted. “Huffington Post UK Launches to Almost No Fanfare” is the headline in the Telegraph. “When she and her advisors picked today to launch the British version of the Huffington Post they couldn’t have known it would be eclipsed by the biggest media story of the year,” writes Toby Young.