TechCruch Founder Arrington Out at AOL
AOL and TechCrunch founder and editor Michael Arrington officially parted ways Monday, almost exactly one year after the New York internet portal acquired the popular tech news blog.
Arrington was replaced by longtime TechCrunch editor Erick Schonfeld.
The company's statement said that the high-profile blogger had "decided" to move on, which appeared to be an understatement, given the negotiations between the two sometimes approximated a cage match.
The noisy media fight centered on a new $20-million venture fund that Arrington is now running called the CrunchFund and his editorial status at TechCrunch with the new role.
The name of the fund, which is close to the name of TechCrunch, will remain, Arrington said onstage Monday morning at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco.
"This is my baby and I built this," he said, in an understated appearance. "So, it's a sad day."
Before beginning an interview with well-known Silicon Valley investor and venture capitalist Reid Hoffman at the conference, Arrington got off a good joke by wearing a T-shirt with the label "unpaid blogger."
It was a humorous poke at AOL content czar and former Arrington boss, Arianna Huffington, who had called him that in one of the many rounds of fighting of late.
Along with a media firestorm, the fracas included Arrington posting an angry blog on TechCrunch itself demanding that AOL give him editorial independence or sell him back the blog.
AOL CEO Tim Armstrong and Huffington were inclined to do neither and, thus, Arrington had to go.
AOL said it would continue its $10-million investment in Arrington's CrunchFund.
In a statement, AOL said: "The TechCrunch acquisition has been a success for AOL and for our shareholders, and we are very excited about its future. Michael Arrington, the founder of TechCrunch has decided to move on from TechCrunch and AOL to his newly formed venture fund. Michael is a world-class entrepreneur and we look forward to supporting his new endeavor through our investment in his venture fund."