TechCrunch founder Arrington officially moves on

AOL says Arrington is no longer a part of TechCrunch, and former co-editor Erick Schonfeld is now the sole editor of the blog.

Michael Arrington wearing his "unpaid blogger" shirt at TechCrunch Disrupt today.
Michael Arrington wearing his "unpaid blogger" shirt at TechCrunch Disrupt today. Daniel Terdiman/CNET

After a bloody public battle, TechCrunch's Michael Arrington has officially severed ties with the startup blog he founded.

In a statement posted on TechCrunch's site today, AOL said that Arrington "has decided to move on from TechCrunch and AOL to his newly formed venture fund."

AOL acquired TechCrunch last year for an undisclosed sum. Following the acquisition, the companies agreed to allow TechCrunch to have editorial independence, and keep its staff. However, following Arrington's recent announcement of the establishment of a venture fund, called CrunchFund, the media world debated the ethics of the co-editor of a blog covering startups also investing in startups.

Arrington and his staff of writers thought the move was well within ethical boundaries. However, AOL balked at the idea , and initiated the process of firing Arrington, even though the company is a partial backer of CrunchFund. In response, one TechCrunch writer threatened to resign from the site, and Arrington himself offered to buy back TechCrunch from AOL.

Earlier today at TechCrunch Disrupt, a conference the blog puts on about startups, Arrington--wearing a shirt that read "unpaid blogger"--briefly discussed his spat with AOL, acknowledging that there has been "a little drama around TechCrunch and me right now." He then confirmed that he is, in fact, leaving the blog he founded.

"I have to say that the proudest accomplishment of mine over the last year is keeping this TechCrunch team together," Arrington said. "It's rare that a startup that's acquired is able to keep the core team together. Unfortunately, I'm going to be the first to leave."

With Arrington gone, former co-editor Erick Schonfeld will take over as the sole editor of TechCrunch. In addition, AOL said that it plans to expand the blog's "editorial leadership in the coming months."

CNET's Daniel Terdiman and Rafe Needleman contributed to this report.

 

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