The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Arianna Huffington Fires Tech Blogger AOL Paid $30 Million to Buy Out

Posted on | September 2, 2011 | 33 Comments

At least that’s what it looks like, but first the background: Remember, AOL in February paid upwards of $300 million to acquire HuffPo in a deal that reportedly gave Arianna “control of all of AOL’s editorial content.” That big effing deal happened less than six months after AOL paid a reported $30 million to buy TechCrunch, the super-popular technology/business blog started in 2005 by Michael Arrington.

So the news comes today that Arianna gave Arrington the boot:

TechCrunch founder and editor Michael Arrington no longer works for TechCrunch, says Arianna Huffington, the president and editor-in-chief of AOLHuffington Post Media Group.
This contradicts some initial reports of Mr. Arrington’s new role, which said that Mr. Arrington would continue to report to Ms. Huffington, would retain the official title of “founding editor,” and would still be employed as a writer for TechCrunch.

This allegedly has something to do with Arrington starting a technology investment fund, a move decried as a violation of journalism ethics.

Now you understand why I’ve resisted all those lucrative offers* to sell to international media conglomerates. You can’t get fired if you don’t have a boss. And I’d go back to driving a forklift before I’d work for a crazy bitch who talks like Zsa Zsa Gabor.

* This involves a definition of “lucrative offers” not quite as high as $300 million, and a definition of “international media conglomerates” that includes anyone stupid enough to offer money to buy a blog. A Venn diagram showing Set A as “people with lots of money” and Set B as “people who want to buy a blog” would show an extraordinarily tiny overlap in Set AB, none of whom have shown any interest in — yet.



33 Responses to “Arianna Huffington Fires Tech Blogger AOL Paid $30 Million to Buy Out”

  1. Kristi
    September 2nd, 2011 @ 8:52 pm

    But I get ALLERGIC smelling hay!  *sneezes*

  2. Quartermaster
    September 2nd, 2011 @ 9:09 pm

    I have no idea why AOL was dumb enough to buy Ariganta Puffington’s media “empire” from her. It wasn’t making money and she was looking around for more money to keep it online as it was. You have to wonder what they were thinking with, if anything at all.

  3. Matt Lewis
    September 2nd, 2011 @ 9:38 pm

    Who could have predicted that it would be Arianna standing up for journalistic integrity?

    AOL — which invested $10 million in the fund — prohibits employees from investing in companies they cover, but has made an exception for Arrington since purchasing his blog last year.

    Also fascinating that AOL had made an exception to the policy and invested in the fund.

  4. Charles W
    September 2nd, 2011 @ 9:49 pm

    I get AOL on my Netscape Navigator.

  5. TC_LeatherPenguin
    September 2nd, 2011 @ 9:55 pm

    I’m telling ya, the more I look at AOL/Zsa Zsa, the more I see the online version of Air America. The implosion is coming; AOL should have been dead years ago, but like Air Idiot, fools keep giving them financial infusions, but sooner or later the spigot is gonna get turned off.

  6. Anonymous
    September 2nd, 2011 @ 10:02 pm

    Does anybody even use their dialup service any more?

  7. Charles W
    September 2nd, 2011 @ 10:05 pm

    I don’t know, but if you want to try it I can send you a free cd that the sent me.

  8. Anonymous
    September 2nd, 2011 @ 10:29 pm

    no, this is the replay of the biggest merger bust of all time, AOL buying Time-Warner, only for AOL itself to be spun-off.  Good times.

  9. Doug
    September 2nd, 2011 @ 10:33 pm

    She’s got arnold the pig slated for that spot.

  10. Fausta
    September 2nd, 2011 @ 10:49 pm

    If life was fair, Arianna would still be working at the Acropolis IHOP

  11. Charles
    September 2nd, 2011 @ 10:52 pm

    My prediction: Arrington will make a billion from technology investments, while Huffington loses a billion at AOL.

  12. Anonymous
    September 2nd, 2011 @ 11:18 pm

    I knew AOL had jumped the shark when they started giving free start-up disks away in cereal boxes.

  13. TC_LeatherPenguin
    September 2nd, 2011 @ 11:19 pm

    Surprisingly, yes; only baby Jeebus knows why. Also, some people have been using their “” addy for so long they’re too lazy to switch.

  14. Bob Belvedere
    September 2nd, 2011 @ 11:23 pm

    They make good coasters – kinda cool looking upside down.

  15. TC_LeatherPenguin
    September 2nd, 2011 @ 11:23 pm

    Arrington can be an incredible jerk sometimes, but I’m fairly certain when AOL bought TechCrunch, he didn’t get paid in AOL shares.

    Zsa Zsa? I figure her payout was mostly AOL paper, and the “editorial dominatrix” title was used to make her feel like she had become bigger than Tina Brown.

  16. Anonymous
    September 2nd, 2011 @ 11:28 pm

    Yeah, I’d be one of those people. But I get my AOLmail through Thunderbird. Can’t remember the last time I actually logged into

  17. Anonymous
    September 2nd, 2011 @ 11:29 pm

    I like to microwave mine occasionally. You get a sort of static discharge off the data side, and it doesn’t hurt the  microwave.

  18. Anonymous
    September 2nd, 2011 @ 11:33 pm

    That’s unfair to the concept of “Thinking”.

  19. Anonymous
    September 2nd, 2011 @ 11:36 pm


  20. JeffS
    September 2nd, 2011 @ 11:57 pm

    Well, it’s better than microwaving cats.

  21. TC_LeatherPenguin
    September 3rd, 2011 @ 12:00 am


  22. TC_LeatherPenguin
    September 3rd, 2011 @ 12:31 am

    I have an “” account waiting RIGHT HERE, Wombat.

  23. Dell Hill
    September 3rd, 2011 @ 12:53 am

    One on each side of a toilet paper roll really helps keep the roll flow smoothly, too!

  24. Anonymous
    September 3rd, 2011 @ 1:02 am

    If I want deep-fried cat I just call Peking Moon!

  25. Threedonia
    September 3rd, 2011 @ 1:28 am

    Isn’t Smitty’s Rule 5 Investment Fund a violation of journalistic ethics?

  26. Anonymous
    September 3rd, 2011 @ 2:03 am

    The one does lead to the other.

  27. Anonymous
    September 3rd, 2011 @ 2:06 am

    There can be nothing unethical about Rule 5.

  28. andycanuck
    September 3rd, 2011 @ 2:49 am

    Cool. I’ll have to search for that company name using Dogpile. 

  29. » No sale
    September 3rd, 2011 @ 3:28 pm

    […] day or so I spot someone on a message board wanting to know how to make tons of money off a blog. I probably should start referring them to Robert Stacy McCain: A Venn diagram showing Set A as “people with lots of money” and Set B as “people […]

  30. Daily scoreboard « Don Surber
    September 3rd, 2011 @ 5:02 pm

    […] 14. From Robert Stacy McCain: “Arianna Huffington Fires Tech Blogger AOL Paid $30 Million to Buy Out.” […]

  31. Quartermaster
    September 3rd, 2011 @ 9:47 pm

    You, sir, are quite correct. I await transportation to the re-education camp so that my thinking will be more properly molded to correct patterns. 🙂

  32. Quartermaster
    September 3rd, 2011 @ 9:49 pm

    The irony of that was pretty rich.

  33. J.M. Heinrichs
    September 4th, 2011 @ 1:48 am

    Keep in mind the success of the “CrunchPad” …