Is TechCrunch Close to Becoming History?

TechCrunch, one of the most respected online publications out there, may as well be history tomorrow, as AOL, the main supporter of CrunchFund, is considering sacking Michael Arrington.

The TechCrunch Team

Take a good look at the picture above, as it may be the last time you see TechCrunch in this particular formula. Michael Arrington, the founder of the online publication, is accused by AOL of really poor communication and nonsensical political infighting, facts that may cause him to be overthrown from this current position. The reason why AOL has a great word to say in all this deal is because it isn’t only the owner of TechCrunch, but it also represents the main backer in the recently launched investment entity called CrunchFund.

The worst thing about all this is that nothing is certain, so the editors of TechCrunch are really in the dark now, including Mike Arrington. They do not know for sure that Michael Arrington is going to be replaced by someone else who plays by AOL’s rules. On top of this, journalists such as David Carr of New York Times, started describing TechCrunch’s way of doing things in a way that has nothing to do with the reality. From their perspective, the online publication has only words of praise for startup companies that are part of CrunchFund. Instead, MG Siegler, along with the other editors, insists that TechCrunch presented nothing but honest reviews of the startups.

A few days ago, there were a few contradictory reports regarding Michael Arrington’s status, both at AOL and TechCrunch. According to an AOL spokesperson,  Arrington was no longer an employee of AOL, let alone TechCrunch, but a later report revealed that he still works in the Business Development Division. These reports surely add up to the confusion that rules over TechCrunch in this period.

Michael Arrington built not only the publication, but also the team that is behind it. He brought many of the editors and made TechCrunch what it is today. If he is forced to leave, TechCrunch is certainly capable of going on without him, but things will never be the same.

For more on this story, check out TechCrunch’s post by MG Siegler with his thoughts on what’s going down.