The longtime journalist might mean a more news-focused site.

Well-regarded New York Times editor Lydia Polgreen will become the next leader of the Huffington Post, taking the job that was until recently held by its famous founder, Arianna Huffington.

The task of filling the high-proflile — and styling — shoes of the globe-trotting pundit and entrepreneur has largely been done Jared Grusd, the CEO of the Huffington Post. There was an editor search committee, but Grusd was the point person here, interviewing a number of well-known candidates, said sources, including another former Times editor Jim Roberts.

Huffington, who left the AOL-owned property in August, recently launched her latest health-focused media and commerce effort, called Thrive Global.

Polgreen — who has been editorial director of the New York Times global and associate masthead editor and has done several international reporting postings at the media company in her 14 years there — will be global editor-in-chief of the site and its many other digital and video assets.

The focus under Polgreen is likely to shift more to premium news, given she is a top-notch journalist. She also will have to grapple with how the Huffington Post continues to effectively expands its video efforts — there have been lots and lots of missteps here — especially under its owner Verizon. Polgreen will also likely play a part in the eventual integration of Yahoo’s many news units, once that rat’s nest of an acquisition deal ever closes.

Polgreen, 41, has an active presence on social media and very savvy about online media, although her career has largely been at a company whose main business has — until recently — been the newspaper. And, even as the Huffington Post has expanded aggressively, there have also been numerous cuts recently and changes in editorial focus that have unsettled the staff. AOL’s purchase by Verizon last year added even more confusion to the mix.

But Polgreen — who is, full disclosure, a friend of mine — seems game enough to take on such challenges.

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Author: Kara Swisher

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