In the past week, AOL and Michael Arrington have been in the news when they should be breaking the news. TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington was finding it difficult to fit in his new role at AOL after the acquisition of TechCrunch. AOL wants to manage Arrington as any other corporate employee but Mike wants his editorial independence. It was working fine between the two. Michael even launched a venture capital fund that would include an $8 million commitment from AOL. An official announcement via the NY Times, included positive quotes from both Arrington and AOL chief executive Tim Armstrong.
A few days ago, AOL editorial boss Arianna Huffington — said that Arrington had been fired. Another company spokeswoman clarified, saying that he was still in the employ of AOL, but in a non-editorial role that would prohibit Arrington from sourcing investment opportunities via TechCrunch.
And now, Fortune is reporting that AOL execs have decided to “terminate” Arrington for real.
“Arianna just ousted Arrington as the mayor of TechCrunch, It’s almost a Foursquare check-in.” former Forbes writer Taylor Buley said.
“My life feels very strange to me,” Arrington said. “Yeah, me too,” TechCrunch reporter Alexia Tsotsis has added.
I have not seen a report yet on TechCrunch about the new development. That is very unusual. MG Siegler should be writing about this by now.
Stay tuned, there is a lot more about to happen.
What could happen
Michael could hire most of the TC writers and start something new. The fate of Michael’s newly launched Crunchfund is shaky. Techcrunch Disrupt is almost here, will Mike be there. Michael offered to buy TechCrunch back from AOL if the company wouldn’t give him his Independence.
If you were Michael Arrington what would you do?