Engadget, the East Coast half of AOL’s tech blogging empire, has seen a number of editorial exits in the past month. Add Chris Ziegler, senior mobile editor to the list. He penned his personal farewell blog post, a pre-requisite for departing the site, yesterday.
“I won’t pretend that I’ve been thrilled with every move Aol has made since I’ve been here — but once again, I’m not leaving because I’m being indoctrinated into “The Aol Way” or because I’ve been told what to write or how to think by some dark force above Josh, wrote Ziegler. Josh refers to Josh Topolsky, senior editor at Engadget who recently announced his own departure.
This is in contrast to the goodbye letter penned by exiting editorial staffer Paul Miller, who claimed the AOL was a major motivation behind his departure. “As detailed in the ‘AOL Way,’ and borne out in personal experience, AOL sees content as a commodity it can sell ads against. That might make good business sense (though I doubt it), but it doesn’t promote good journalism or even good entertainment, and it doesn’t allow an ambitious team like the one I know and love at Engadget to thrive,” wrote Miller.
Ziegler denies this vehemently. “Aol has never interfered with our editorial. Not once. And if they had, I believe I can say with confidence that every editor Engadget has on staff would’ve quit without a second thought. It’s just not how we operate, and it’s not what we signed up for,” wrote Ziegler, the fifth editor to leave the site in the last two months.