AOL issued an official statement saying that Mike Arrington has decided to move on, leaving AOL to run his venture fund with a lot of AOL money. Erick Schonfeld, who has been the number two at TechCrunch for a while, will become the editor in chief.
Unless Schonfeld decides to relocate, that would move the head of TechCrunch’s editorial staff to New York, where he was recently joined by SF transplant Jason Kincaid. Bad news for Betabeat, but we thrive on competition.
Here is the memo from AOL:
“The TechCrunch acquisition has been a success for AOL and for our shareholders, and we are very excited about its future. Michael Arrington, the founder of TechCrunch has decided to move on from TechCrunch and AOL to his newly formed venture fund. Michael is a world-class entrepreneur and we look forward to supporting his new endeavor through our investment in his venture fund. Erick Schonfeld has been named the editor of TechCrunch. TechCrunch will be expanding its editorial leadership in the coming months.”
The whole Crunchfund drama seems pretty scripted now. As he did the year before with Angelgate, Mr. Arrington drew mainstream media attention to his conference, then bowed out with what he wanted, a venture fund and his head held high. Mr. Schonfeld will be a capable successor. Mr. Arrington, in a speech this morning, wore a shirt reading unpaid blogger, meaning he can easily continue to write or feed information to his former staffers.
And with that Mr. Arrington sits down to interview Reid Hoffman, who gets to guest post on TechCruch, invests with Mr. Arrington, and told Kara Swisher Greylock was investing in Crunchfund for the dealflow and coverage. Business as usual.