Arrington and AOL: The Final Chapter

    September 8, 2011
    Chris Crum

The latest word on the TechCrunch/AOL saga is that TC founder Michael Arrington has been fired from the company and that AOL will not sell TechCrunch back, as he had requested.

As previously reported, Michael Arrington presented two options to AOL: either reaffirm editorial independence of TechCrunch as “promised at the time of acquisition” or sell TechCrunch back to the original shareholders.

According to an article from Fortune, it appears that AOL went with option C: canning Arrington and keeping TechCrunch. Dan Primack reports:

Instead, Fortune has learned that AOL executives have decided to terminate Arrington. It is unclear how this will officially occur. Maybe a pink slip. Maybe Arrington submits a (public?) letter of resignation. Maybe Tim Armstrong simply gives Arrington a phone call, and he quickly dashes off a note to TechCrunch employees on his iPad.

In other words, the ending has been written but much of the final chapter remains blank. This includes the fate of CrunchFund, which still includes that pesky AOL commitment (which it technically could default on, but that would lead to all sorts of other problems).

Of course, as Primack also admits, there’s no telling if the decision is final. There has been so much back and forth here, who knows? Kara Swisher, who has been very vocal in her criticism of the whole ordeal, is skeptical:

CrunchFund wizard might be out per fortune, but seems chaotic still as to what’s going on there, acc to my sources: 11 hours ago via TweetDeck · powered by @socialditto

Either way, the story up to now has already been immortalized by Taiwanese animation:

Note: The title of this article is a reference to Friday the 13th Part IV: The FInal Chapter, which as any horror fan knows, was not even close to being the final chapter.

My life feels very strange to me. 10 hours ago via Twitter for Android · powered by @socialditto


Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.