New TechCrunch editor named after founder flap
AOL named a new editor for popular US technology blog TechCrunch on Monday after 10 days of uncertainty and controversy over the fate of the founder of the site, Michael Arrington.
Arrington's situation at TechCrunch has been murky since he launched a $20 million venture capital fund earlier this month called CrunchFund.
AOL itself and several of Silicon Valley's leading venture capitalists are contributors to the fund.
The launch of a fund investing in startup companies like those TechCrunch covers was seen as a breach of journalism ethics by some media analysts and rival tech bloggers.
AOL, which bought TechCrunch from Arrington a year ago, ended days of corporate silence over his fate on Monday just moments before the start of a conference featuring presentations by startup companies hosted by TechCrunch.
"Michael Arrington, the founder of TechCrunch has decided to move on from TechCrunch and AOL to his newly formed venture fund," AOL spokeswoman Maureen Sullivan said.
"Michael is a world-class entrepreneur and we look forward to supporting his new endeavor through our investment in his venture fund," Sullivan said.
She said Erick Schonfeld, who had been serving as co-editor of TechCrunch with Arrington, has been named editor of the site.
"TechCrunch will be expanding its editorial leadership in the coming months," Sullivan added.
Arrington appeared on stage to launch the three-day TechCrunch Disrupt conference in downtown San Francisco and addressed the controversy which has gripped the Silicon Valley blogosphere for the past week.
"It's no longer, I think, a good situation for me to stay at TechCrunch," he said. "I will no longer be an employee of TechCrunch or in any way an employee of AOL.
"I will however continue to run the CrunchFund and AOL will remain a partner of the CrunchFund and I'm actually really excited about that," he said.
AOL has reportedly invested $10 million in the fund.
Arrington also poked fun at Arianna Huffington, who was given editorial control over all of AOL's media properties when AOL bought her news and opinion site, The Huffington Post, in February for $315 million.
Arrington unbuttoned and removed his shirt to reveal a green T-shirt underneath which read "unpaid blogger."
"This is the shirt I'll be wearing this week," Arrington said. "At one point my boss, Arianna Huffington, said I could at most be an unpaid blogger for TechCrunch and I'm now an unpaid blogger."
(c) 2011 AFP