Christina Norman goes from Oprah to Arianna Huffington exec jobs

Paula Duffy's picture

Christina Norman landed well after Oprah cleaned house at the OWN cable network. OWN's loss is Huffington Post's gain as Norman heads up the relaunch of the Black Voices content section.

The Huffington Post announced three new sections of the popular news and content site, one of which is devoted to women, one to parenting and the other to minority issues that may go uncovered or are under covered in media.

The Post found a strong African American female executive to fill the top spot at the new Black Voices section. She is Christina Norman, suddenly available after a less than ideal launch of Winfrey's OWN cable channel that caused key departures to be announced weeks ago. She had previously served as president at MTV network.

Norman was CEO of OWN and her new job may seem smaller but it is no less prestigious. She now toils for another female media mogul, one Arianna Huffington who parlayed her website idea into a political force to be reckoned with. Earlier in 2011, Huffington became a wealthy woman after her company was sold for a reported $300 million+ and merged with former AOL content sites.

The way Huff Post grows, in addition to adding mainstream media castoffs from shrinking magazine and print newspaper employment rolls, is to add new sections to the site. With Norman at the helm, Huffington added an African American woman to the masthead. In her blog on the new Women section today, Arianna promised that Black Voices would launch later this week.

The push to get more female eyeballs on the Huff Post was a strong factor, according to Mediaite in AOL's acquisition of Huff Post. The decision making by women on household spending has not diminished, from what surveys of the topic have found.

With Norman coming aboard to direct the newly designed and staffed Black Voices section, Huffington gets a woman that fits the mold of mainstream media execs who float over to new media. Arianna Huffington knows something about remaking herself and becoming a success and was thrilled to be able to get Norman on the rebound from what seemed an unpleasant parting from OWN.

Huffington had this to say in a release announcing the hire and the new sections of the website. "It’s a great lesson for women, that when one door closes, another one opens,” Huffington said. “There is enormous pressure on high-profile women to succeed, to constantly prove themselves. I met Christina in Los Angeles when she was the head of OWN. After she left, I asked her if she wanted to do something completely different.”

Norman is expected to have the lead opinion piece when Black Voices goes live this week and it should be a doozy. She is reportedly crafting a piece about her departure from OWN. As part of her new responsibilities at Huff Post she will also be in charge of the launch and execution of more video content for all the AOL branded content.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

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