This is a guest post by Tom Cheredar, a Freelance Journalist/Reporter (and frequent contributor to http://newassignment.net ) with an affinity for technology and all the wonderful culture it brings.
Months ago Muhammad Saleem pointed out that TechCrunch’s redesign bears a shocking resemblance to the Gawker Media site templates. I thought it was interesting but didn’t give it much thought until this week.
Seriously, has anyone noticed the first signs of a mini Valleywag reunion over at TechCrunch? It was blatantly obvious judging from the content this week, which had a bit more pop (sensational) than the regular crop. Typically I expect to find information about web apps, partnerships/(fake aquisitions rumors) and tech start-up announcements. I certainly never expected executive dating coverage involving nude photos of a playboy playmate.
Not this week as it was filled with Newspaper Industry FAILs and plenty of snarky goodness.
The instigators of this reunion are former Valleywag staffer Erick Schonfeld, who switched ships to TechCrunch as Co-editor. But even aside from the questionable articles published lately, I didn’t get the V-wag vibe until Sarah Lacy joined as a contributor.
This week both reporters take turns jabbing at the crotchety old folks in traditional media with an extra snarky post about how the Associated Press’ legal exec doesn’t know his company has a YouTube channel and then an uppercut to the jaw of journalism schools who are supposedly experiencing enrollment growth (WTF why?).
Making fun of the old media is definitely the most entertaining portion of Valleywag and unlike a “Google / Twitter” acquisition rumor, it’s pretty much a given that ex v-wag contributors know exactly what they’re reporting on. Old media is after all predictable.
TechCrunch, however, is changing into something different.
Throw in Paul Boutin, who is working for the New York Times’ Gadget blog and a possible Owen Thomas (if Gawker Media CEO Nick Denton ever decides to cut out Valleywag completely) and boom: CrunchWag is born.
Why Editor Michael Arrington would want to turn his site into someone else’s Web site that wasn’t financially viable is anyones guess. I’d love to hear his rationale either way.