Shakeups

Engineering and Editorial Exodus at AOL

tim armstrong1 Engineering and Editorial Exodus at AOL

Mr. Armstrong. (Yaniv Golan / Wikipedia)

AOL, the tech media company known on GlassDoor.com for being a “great jumping-off point for other things,” is making a habit of creating new blogs due to the sheer bungling of perfectly good blogs. TechCrunch is like some kind of organ transplant being rejected by AOL’s immune system. It’s the end of the Erick era and the start of the Eric era, and time to say goodbye to New York-based writer Jason Kincaid in the freshest round of shakeups at the post-Arrington blog. TechCrunch—how the mighty have fallen—is rapidly losing ground to competitors. PandoDaily and Uncrunched, run by TechCrunch vets, seem to announce an exciting new thing every day. 

It all reminds us of how last year, AOL-owned Engadget saw its editors leave and start the excellent blog The Verge. At least one Verge editor, Thomas Houston, actually came from Switched/Download Squad, two blogs shuttered by AOL.

The talent losses seemingly contradict what CEO Tim Armstrong told Businessweek in 2009: original content will save AOL.

The company hasn’t fared much better on the tech side, which probably smarts worse. New flagship Huffington Post lost CTO Paul Berry to startup life in January. AllThingsD is already reporting that Mr. Berry’s replacement, Tim Dierks, is now “out.” Usually “out” means fired, but in this case the reports suggest otherwise; Mr. Dierks had been brought on by Alex Gounares, CTO of AOL proper, who reportedly just left to spend more time with his hometown of Seattle. Must be that zombie outbreak AOL has been worried about, and shareholders can’t be happy about it. Despite reports that Patch is doing great, it’s probably best for AOL that it has some time to restore confidence before the release of the next earnings report.

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