TechCrunch to keep independent voice, Arrington says

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!

About Robert Scoble

As Startup Liaison for Rackspace, the Open Cloud Computing Company, I travel the world with Rocky Barbanica looking for what's happening on the bleeding edge of technology and report that here.

15 thoughts on “TechCrunch to keep independent voice, Arrington says

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. “……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?

  4. 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?

  5. 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?

  6. 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.

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