If Huffpo's not making money, who is?

The Huffington Post is fond of calling itself "the internet newspaper." And it is like an increasing number of actual newspapers in one important regard: the direction of its cash flow. That would be out, not in.

Yes, it turns out that, despite some early noises about crossing into the black -- and despite The Daily Show's jokes about how a newspaper like The New York Times could only dream of making "Huffington Post money" -- Huffpo is still in what is euphemistically known as investment mode, according to the New York Observer. Getting it from there to let's-all-buy-polo-ponies mode is the job of new CEO Eric Hippeau.

(Speaking of euphemisms, how refreshing was it that Hippeau's predecessor, Betsy Morgan, dispensed with the usual lines about how her departure was a mutual decision and admitted to Fortune that she was canned?)
You can't help but wonder what Huffpo's continued bleeding portends. Not that it's so remarkable that a start-up would still be losing money after only four years -- particularly a startup that's dependent for all its revenue on advertising, which is completely in the toilet.

But there are an awful lot of fledgling news-and-community blogsites aiming to be "the Huffington Post of" this or that. Take Mog, aka "the Huffington Post of music news," or Mediaite, the would-be "Drudge-meets-Huffington Post" of media-industry chatter. Or take The Daily Beast, which is sort of like Huffpo, except more expensively produced and with way, way less traffic. If the most popular blog on the entire internet is still burning through cash, is there any hope at all for the wannabes?
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