Guest post by Richard Laermer
It appears a couple of different takes on Friday’s story about Mike Arrington leaving TechCrunch, a company which he founded in 2005 and was bought out by AOL in April…
In Friday’s Wall Street Journal article one gets the warm fuzzy feeling that Arrington simply resigned to move on to a bigger and better adventure of running a $20 million venture-capital fund, called CrunchFund, which is to invest in start-ups. CrunchFund is backed by AOL and several VC firms.
TechCrunch is quoted as saying that Arrington will continue to write for TechCrunch, but will have no editorial oversight. When the news broke Arrington tweeted “slow news day.”
Business Insider story quotes Arianna Huffington, the President and Editor-in-Chief of AOL Huffington Post Media Group said, “Mr. Arrington is not being paid by TechCrunch, he does not report to TechCrunch editors and does not report to her or other AOL Huffington Post Media Group personnel.
Reading between the lines, it’s obvious that Arrington didn’t resign. This has all the flavorings of someone who has just been fired.
When Business Insider asked for a clarification on Arrington’s new role (if any), Ms. Huffington said that “Mr. Arrington will be welcome to contribute to unpaid blogs to the company as long as he stays within AOL blogging guidelines.” She went on to say that Arrington’s relationship with at AOL is not with TechCrunch but with AOL Ventures.
Business Insider pressed for clarification on Arrington’s role at AOL. They were finally told that Arrington no longer works for AOL in any capacity. Strong words for someone who the WSJ would have us believe that he just merely resigned. As Business Insider noted this sounds more and more that Ms. Huffington ousted Arrington.
There is a funny coda to the Arringtongate story, according to Business Insider: Suddenly, Arianna Huffington decided she could not have a bad vibe in “her house”.
“The editor just got bounced from the staff by his boss, Arianna Huffington. She found out Arrington and her boss, Tim Armstrong, were planning to launch a VC fund about the very startups that Arrington writes about. Not in her house.”