Higher standards, indeed -- that news didn't sit well with the staffers at TechCrunch, who spent the weekend alternately fuming about the absolutely impossible position this put them in or whining about how they'll ever survive without Mikey to hold their hands.
Then Arianna Huffington "clarified" last week's announcement by Armstrong, saying that Arrington won't be allowed to write anything he damned well pleases after all. Then Arrington demanded either "editorial independence" (that is, the right to write about companies in which he has a financial interest) or the right to buy back the company he sold to AOL for $25 or $30 million last year. Now, finally, Arrington is done. Out on his keister. Axed.
Again, this is not exactly surprising. The Gobi desert isn't big enough to contain the egos of Huffington, Armstrong, and Mr. Crunchypants, let alone the boardrooms at AOL. Last September I wrote a blog post titled "AOL swallows TechCrunch -- but can they keep it down?" Today we have the answer: No, they cannot. At least, not with Arrington on board. And without Arrington, what is TechCrunch? Yet another tech blog struggling to get scoops, but this time without Mikey's VC buddies on line 2.
The fact that this situation is all blowing up in spectacular fashion in public for all to see is, well, deeply satisfying to some of us.
I'll have an extra helping of schadenfreude with some bratwurst on the side, mein fraulein. Danke.
My prediction: Arrington a) sues AOL, mostly to salve his bruised ego, and b) starts up a new tech blog, luring away any of the TechCrunchers who can still stand to be in the same room with him. And then ... who knows? Starting and building up a news blog now is much more difficult than it was back when TechCrunch started, thanks to all the competition. Welcome to the blogosphere 2011, Mike.
Meanwhile, AOL has to find somebody to replace Arrington. How about Carol Bartz? I understand she's available.
Who should run Yahoo -- or TechCrunch, for that matter? Nominate your candidates below or email them to me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article, "Keep it classy, Yahoo and TechCrunch," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the crazy twists and turns of the tech industry with Robert X. Cringely's Notes from the Field blog, and subscribe to Cringely's Notes from the Underground newsletter.