You've got blogs: ex-AOLers build sites for writers, documentarians

August 21, 2009: 6:00 AM ET

New online platforms like True/Slant and SnagFilms are a home for original content. Can they succeed?

Godfather: Leonsis is backing a number of ex-AOLers online content ventures. Photo: SnagFilms

Godfather: Leonsis backs AOL-bred online ventures. Photo: SnagFilms

AOL is getting some good press these days for hiring journalists such as newspaperman Carl Cannon and Walter Shapiro, a veteran of The Washington Post and Time magazine, in an effort to bolster its original content.  The effort, praised in media circles for creating a home for experienced writers and producers, is part of a strategy by new CEO Tim Armstrong to revitalize AOL in advance of a planned spinout by corporate parent Time Warner, (TWX)  which also owns FORTUNE's parent.

But AOL is not alone in its online journalism initiatives. In fact, a number of former AOL executives are pursuing similar pursuits. In the last year or so, three ex-AOLers, including former vice chairman Ted Leonsis, have launched new sites devoted to online distribution of original non-fiction content. More

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