AOL recently lost a couple of editors of its popular gadget blog Engadget. Now, an even bigger player in the company's content strategy is leaving. President of AOL Media and Studios, David Eun told staff he is leaving the company in an email. The letter started:
I wanted to reach out to you personally about my decision to leave the company. I came to AOL last year to be the leader of the media organization. With the historic acquisition of The Huffington Post, my role and responsibilities as President, AOL Media are changing. Tim and I have discussed at length how I might continue within the new organizational structure, but ultimately there isn’t a role that matches what I am seeking to do.
I believe this acquisition is great for AOL, and I’ve been happy to count Arianna as a friend for a number of years. This deal would never ave happened without all of your hard work and accomplishments this past year. From our Homepage relaunch to massive video growth to significant increases in external traffic, you have been at the forefront of digital media- and this is only the beginning.
AOL's TechCrunch has the entire thing posted. Unlike the Engadget editors who stepped down, citing the infamous "AOL Way" as a catalyst, Eun expresses nothing but pride, respect, and admiration for what AOL has accomplished in the content field during his tenure.
Arrington, who is generally not shy about speaking his mind (having blasted Engadget itself in the past, as well as suggesting that AOL may have been responsible for an annoying ad that appeared on his site) says, "As much as I made fun of David, I have huge respect for him. One thing he didn't do was mess with TechCrunch. He never told us what to write, or not write, or in any way interfered with our editorial process. That's all I really asked for when we were acquired, and he kept his promise."
What's that mean in light of Eun's absence and the "AOL way"?
Upon AOL's acquisition of The Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington was appointed president and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Media Group, which includes all Huffington Post and AOL content, "including Engadget, TechCrunch, Moviefone, MapQuest, Black Voices, PopEater, AOL Music, AOL Latino, AutoBlog, Patch, StyleList, and more."
An internal AOL email from CEO Tim Armstrong (shared by Arrington here) reaffirms that Huffington is indeed in charge of content, and adds that AOL exec Jon Brod will be COO of the Huffington Post Media Group once the acquisition has closed.