The AOL Huffington Post Media Group today made three key announcements regarding its multicultural strategy: Sheila C. Johnson will serve as Strategic Advisor for Multicultural and African-American Initiatives; Derek Murphy has been named General Manager, Multicultural; and Patch, the network of over 800 hyperlocal news and information sites dedicated to comprehensive, community-specific coverage, will launch “Patch Latino” to serve communities with large Latino populations.
“I’m really excited to welcome Sheila Johnson as strategic advisor for our multicultural and African-American initiatives,” said Arianna Huffington, President and Editor-in-Chief of the AOL Huffington Post Media Group. “Sheila is a true media pioneer whose passion and perspective on culture and media will be invaluable in helping shape our wide-ranging multicultural coverage. We’re also delighted to welcome Derek Murphy as General Manager, Multicultural. Derek is a strategic thinker with the expertise to grow the audiences, reach and revenue of our multicultural sites, BlackVoices and AOL Latino. And to help meet the tremendous desire for local news and community coverage among the fast-growing Latino community, we will be launching ‘Patch Latino,’ starting with sites in Southern California that will go live by the end of the year.”
Sheila C. Johnson is an entrepreneur, philanthropist and founding partner of Black Entertainment Television (BET), whose accomplishments span the arenas of TV/film, the arts, education, hospitality, sports, and humanitarian causes. “With its amazing reach and passionately engaged community, AOL Huffington Post Media Group is perfectly positioned to expand the way multicultural communities are covered,” said Sheila C. Johnson. “And I’m delighted to be working with Arianna Huffington, an innovator on so many fronts, to help forge impactful new offerings for multicultural audiences.”
As General Manager, Multicultural, Derek Murphy will drive the overall strategy and operational performance for AOL Latino, BlackVoices and AOL’s other multicultural offerings. Murphy had been COO of Global Media Ventures, which he formed with Ms. Johnson. He was previously Senior Vice President, Business Development of The Huffington Post. Prior to that, he was at CNN, where he oversaw integrated media partnerships with a broad range of companies, including Google and Amazon.
Patch Latino will kick off with new sites in Southern California by the end of 2011. While reflecting the traditional Patch model of local news, community and information, the sites will also offer dedicated coverage of topics of special interest to the Latino population. All editorial content on the sites will be in Spanish.