A year ago, TechCrunch was sold by Arrington to AOL for $30 million, but now again after he has been relieved of his duties, there is a TechCrunch post which came up from the entrepreneur noting AOL’s duties which they should fulfill or let him buyback TechCrunch. Arrington in fact had posted an ultimatum for his employers to give away ‘editorial independence’ which was the main point of the blog post he made on TechCrunch.
The term ‘editorial independence’ even had an inclusion of a “blanket right to editorial self determination”. This meant that TechCrunch would be a part of AOL, but would have its independence, concerning about the Huffington Post. If not, the current employers had an option to sell TechCrunch back to the original shareholders which includes Mike.
Talking about the problem’s history, Arianna Huffington has a contract with AOL, wherein she has primacy in editorial matters. The fire bubbles started burning in when Tim Armstrong, AOL chairman stated that Mike could simultaneously work on his new venture capital fund wherein the plans were to invest in tech companies, while serving for TechCrunch. This was considered as an intolerable decision by Huffington and she started demanding that Armstrong should honor their contract. The heated discussion grew further when Huffington started stating that she was in search for a new Editor-in-Chief to replace Mike. This gave rise to a lot of confusion which even raised questions as to was Mike still working for AOL or no.
The spokespersons of Mike and Huffington were not available to clear the air as to what more updates one could get on the topic.
The writers of TechCrunch even have their say at a scenario which is ‘TechCrunch – Mike = not TechCrunch’. If Mike is out of the scene, the site might be crippled as the cost of dependence on Mike is high. But does Armstrong have a choice to choose from? The chances look dim as Huffington is the backbone of his content strategy. It looks like the fight might lead to a Wall Street like scene. If that happens, AOL will surely be at the suffering end as the basis of TechCrunch has been its writers who have been independent and at the same time managed by Mike.
However, Mike has somewhat responded with his deadline announcement, but no one knows how serious this matter can become if Huffington starts responding in a manner Mike is doing currently. After all, she has always gone from strength to strength which can be thought of as she sold her company only to get a bigger and better control of an another better one.
Whatever may be the end result, there is more to this news to come up in the near future as Mike has launched a fresh attack with his current blog post on TechCrunch and Huffington mostly would not take it in the expected sense.