AOL and HuffPo Tap Twitter Co-Founder Biz Stone as Strategic Advisor

AOL folds Politics Daily, Huffington Post makes 11 new editorial hires, announces “30-day service challenge” encouraging staffers to volunteer

A week after finalizing its $315 million deal with AOL — and four days after AOL laid off roughly 1,000 employees — the Huffington Post announced 11 new hires and a number of staffing changes and initiatives.

At the top of the list: Biz Stone, Twitter co-founder and ex-CEO, is joining AOL and the Huffington Post as a "strategic advisor for social impact." Stone's role is "to enhance innovation around social impact and cause-based initiatives," AOL said in its announcement.

"Arianna and Tim share my vision for aligning corporate resources toward meaningful change," Stone said. “My goal is ambitious but vitally important. Together we will rally companies to think about new ways of doing business, share best practices, and strive for positive impact at all levels — from global to local."

Also on Monday, the Huffington Post named ex-Los Angeles Times managing editor John Montorio as its culture and entertainment editor. Before joining the LA Times in 2001, Montorio spent 15 years at the New York Times.

Here are HuffPo's other new hires: Jennifer Bendery (from Roll Call) as White House Correspondent; Caroline Dworin (New York Times’ “City” section) as culture/style Reporter; Dave Jamieson (TBD.com) as workplace reporter; Saki Knafo (NYT magazine) as general assignment writer; Simone Landon as news editor; and Catherine New as real estate editor.

As expected, AOL is folding as Politics Daily into the Huffington Post Media Group, the companies announced.

Also on Monday, Howard Fineman, who Arianna poached from Newsweek last year to be HuffPo's senior political editor, was named editorial director of the Huffington Post Media Group. Among Fineman's expanded responsibilities: guiding HuffPo's coverage of the 2012 presidential race. (Fineman will continue to contribute to NBC and MSNBC.)

Wait, wait, there’s more. AOL announced that its hyperlocal Patch.com network will expand to include two underserved neighborhoods in Newark — a byproduct of Huffington’s friendship with Newark Mayor Cory Booker.

And, finally, there's this:

As part of its commitment to “giving back,” The Huffington Post Media Group and AOL are announcing a “30-Day Service Challenge” to encourage employees to volunteer in their communities, with staffers beginning to volunteer starting today.  Employees of The Huffington Post Media Group and AOL will be helping throughout their local communities, from preparing food for families and individuals in need at the LA Food Bank to dancing with elderly residents of nursing homes in New York City, a volunteering opportunity offered by New York Cares, New York City’s largest volunteer organization and AOL’s New York partner for the initiative.  The 30-Day Service Challenge is a lead-up to AOL’s “Monster Help Day” on May 20th, the company’s second annual employee-wide focused day of service.

Arianna Huffington and Tim Armstrong will today be teaching a class to New York City school children at Urban Academy of Arts and Letters in Brooklyn, as part of a Citizen Schools program encouraging professionals to team up with public schools to create an enhanced learning community after the school day ends.  AOL will also be donating $50,000 to Citizen Schools to help the organization expand its efforts in providing productive after-school activities for middle-school children in underserved communities.

In addition to employee-wide “giving back,” all sections of The Huffington Post will today cover and prominently feature the stories of needy families and individuals, as well as individuals and nonprofits working at the local level to address those needs.