Founder and Co-Editor Michael Arrington announced yesterday that technology media blog TechCrunch will be acquired by Aol (still popularly known as AOL). In Arrington’s “Why We Sold TechCrunch to Aol…” blog post, he sites key reasons such as technical and engineer support, Aol’s experience with blog management and commitment to journalistic integrity. He explained that in his talks with Aol CEO Tim Armstrong, it was made clear that Armstrong does not want “whatever makes TechCrunch special to go away.”
That said, most likely there will be far less strongly opinionated Aol coverage on the site, judging from Arrington’s submission that “we’ll probably have to create internal checks to ensure that we aren’t more critical of Aol than we otherwise would be just to prove our editorial independence,” yet “You probably won’t see a lot of glowing blog posts about Aol in general.”
In the Atlantic last night, blogger Alexis Madrigal and Engadget founder Peter Rojas discussed what Arrington may experience while working with the Internet portal. Engadget was created in 2004, then acquired in 2005 when then-AOL purchased Weblogs, Inc, which the tech site was a property of. While Rojas was finally able to pay his writers what he felt they deserved, he found it difficult to participate in projects outside of his own site. The company is more streamlined, he says, but at the time it was difficult to navigate all of the layers of management AOL was bloated with during the period before he left and started gadget site GDGT.
Founded in 2005, TechCrunch and its network of Web sites, according to their own numbers, reach over ten million unique visitors and draw more than 33 million page views per month. Other blogs in its network are MobileCrunch, CrunchGear, TechCrunchIT, GreenTech, and TechCrunchTV. CrunchBase gives information on startups, individuals and investors, and keeps statistical information that are used by other companies.