I talked at length today with Mike Arrington after he and CEO Heather Harde sold TechCrunch to AOL this morning on stage at the Techcrunch Disrupt conference. He then gave me a funny short interview. Some of what I learned he covered in the interview, but here’s everything I learned from him before I turned on my iPhone to interview him.
1. He won’t discuss the price. Others are reporting rumors of $25 million to $40 million.
2. TechCrunch will keep its SF office.
3. The entire staff will stay, or be welcome to, Arrington told me. He said AOL bought TechCrunch for its news brand, which they expect to continue, and their events business, which will expand.
4. TechCrunch’s hosting will move to AOL (Techcrunch is hosted on WordPress.com and other TechCrunch properties, like CrunchBase, are hosted at Rackspace, the the web hosting company I work for).
5. AOL will give TechCrunch some more technical resources.
6. Arrington says that he’ll stay for “years” and that he could see having a great time expanding the TechCrunch brand at AOL.
7. He knows he can’t cover AOL in the same way, especially in telling a positive story about AOL.
8. He said that AOL execs expect him not to screw it up, and want him to have an independent media voice, like they give Engadget and TMZ, among other media properties that AOL owns.
It’ll be interesting to see what’s next for Arrington and this tech brand, but I bet it’ll be interesting. For me? Back to searching for world-changing technology. Congrats Mike and team!
15 thoughts on “TechCrunch to keep independent voice, Arrington says”
Nice post. I wonder how much he’ll enjoy the large org bureaucracy that inevitably comes with being part of a bigger animal. I hope TC can stay on it’s trajectory at least for a while.
i’m with you peter , i have the same opinion !
Did he say how long he has agreed to stay? You know he’ll be gone ASAP.
Also, it’s a good thing he won’t have to worry about having to report anything positive about AOL. That’s not likely. The question is can he report negatively on AOL?
I’m interested to hear what the gang from 37Signals has to say about this. Good for Mike and his team. They deserve the spoils that comes with building an admired brand. But part of me is disappointed, and I wonder if creating a strong brand from scratch means selling out to a large media conglomerate like AOL. Wasn’t Tech Crunch the anti-AOL? It’s selfish to assume each new start-up must remain small to remain relevant. Yet other than tossing cash, what can AOL do that Mike couldn’t do for himself?
OH wow, that should be interesting to see how it turns out.
I hope that Techcrunch will continue to be indipendent. If not, I think that a new TC will arrive soon.
For now, congratulations to Michael and his team
They also own Endgaget? What next Gizmodo? MacWorld? Ars?
Awesome reporting, Robert.
Congrats Scoble. Your friend deserved to become a dot com millionaire. http://goo.gl/fb/GAxZ5
“……after he and CEO Heather Harde sold TechCrunch to AOL this morning on stage at the Techcrunch Disrupt conference.”
They actually did the deal on stage? Why would they do the deal on stage?
Yes, they did. Why? Because it was being talked about anyway and they had their conference so they could tell everyone the news all at once.
great report!thanks for sharing!
AOL is trying to stave off the inevitable. Rather than spending a billion dollars on something that won’t be worth anything in a few years, they are buying talent, reputation, and competence.
I would hope that such a business strategy will NOT create any bubbles out there.
Good news for AOL. I’m sad to see TechCrunch leaving the wordpress.com community and let’s hope this will benefit everyone in the long run. Thanks for sharing the interview.
Techcrunch’s reporting will have to change, at least some. The fact that they have to tiptoe around certain types of reporting (for instance, positive news about AOL) is a little disconcerting when it comes to unfettered reporting.
Not hatin’ but just saying things can’t be the same.
More on the subject: http://www.timmyjohnboy.com/2010/09/29/in-the-news-techcrunch-is-acquired-by-aol/
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