Arianna Huffington


AOL chief executive officer Tim Armstrong is “cautiously optimistic” that the deal between Verizon and Yahoo will go through, he said Monday during Business Insider’s Ignition conference. Last July, AOL parent company Verizon revealed that it would buy Yahoo for $4.83 billion, but the sale was no longer seen as a sure thing after the Internet company’s fall disclosure that it had suffered a massive data breach.

Although Armstrong declined to quantify his optimism with a percentage, he said it was more likely to happen than not. But considering that the deal stalled in October, anything Armstrong said about it was guaranteed to be big news.

Armstrong also hinted that there may be layoffs — or rather, “synergies,” as he euphemistically referred to them — in store for Yahoo should his cautious optimism prove warranted. Yahoo ceo Marissa Mayer, he seemed to suggest, would most likely stay on at the company to “play a role in getting Yahoo to its next iteration.”

The AOL ceo was similarly circumspect when asked about the way that The Huffington Post, another AOL-owned property, covered the candidacy of now President-elect Donald Trump. The left-leaning media company initially confined coverage of the former reality star to its entertainment section. As the election progressed and coverage of Trump could no longer be classified as entertainment, Huffington Post instituted a policy of including a disclaimer to remind readers of objections to Trump’s rhetoric.

According to Armstrong, he never weighed in on HuffPo’s editorial strategy, which he called “bold,” “differentiated” and “interesting.”

Arianna Huffington, who left her namesake company in August to focus on preaching the benefits of sleep through Thrive Global, took the stage after Armstrong.

You’ve always been an inspiration as a media mogul,” Business Insider cofounder and ceo Henry Blodget said, by way of introduction. “Now I understand that you are trying to sell me pillows.”

In fact, Huffington is trying to sell way more than just pillows — everything from $10,000 nap pods designed for the office to pajamas to an audiobook, written and narrated by Huffington, called “Good Night Smartphone” are for sale on Thrive’s e-commerce platform.

Huffington explained that our dependence on technology means “we need to disconnect” more than ever — which is why she has created a charging station that looks like a bed for cell phones. Tucking your cell phone into its own bed, under its own covers, Huffington said, should be part of every family’s nighttime ritual.

“My children are not idiots. Will they accept this?” Blodget asked.

Huffington promised she would send him a bed to test it out. According to Huffington, Trump exhibits the classic symptoms of sleep deprivation.

“To me, convincing Donald Trump he has to sleep at night will be a tremendous part of national security,” Huffington said. “In fact, I’m sending him a phone bed tomorrow!”

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