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This week we bring you a supersized episode as we celebrate The Drill Down podcast’s 200th episode with interviews with former show co-hosts Reg Saddler & Lidija Davis, as they reminisce over their experiences on the show.
But before that, we cover two weeks worth of tech analysis, including the resignation of Rob ‘CmdrTaco’ Malda from Slashdot, an Apple television in the works, Microsoft’s Windows 8 Explorer layout, iTunes Match’s streaming function, Amazon’s upcoming Kindle tablet, the US Department of Justice and Sprint move to block the AT&T/T-Mobile merger, Apple loses another prototype iPhone (and attempts to get it back), Starz won’t renew its deal with Netflix, Michael Arrington starts a venture fund (and gets ousted from TechCrunch), Conde Nast spins Reddit off into its own company, and Yahoo! fires CEO Carol Bartz.
This week Tom Cheredar and Andrew Sorcini are joined by social media expert Mark Frost as we discuss AOL’s purchase of Huffington Post (and the assignment of Ariana Huffington in charge of AOL’s entire editorial content), Verizon breaks all pre-sale records with the iPhone 4, Canada reverses its stance on data caps, Gawker Media’s new layout design, tech companies return to Super Bowl ads (and Groupon’s incendiary ads), Apple’s new iPad in production, Mark Zuckerberg gets a stalker, Anonymous pwns FBI contractor HBGary, and Duke Nukem Forever arrives with a whimper.
At the recent Disrupt SF event, TechCrunch announced it was being purchased by AOL for a rumored amount of $25 to $40 mil., which you think would be stated in the headline of the first article they published concerning this news.
Instead, we get a headline that reads: Tim Armstrong: We Got TechCrunch!, which honestly doesn’t really tell you much of anything. I’ll translate: Tim Armstrong is the CEO of AOL, “We” is AOL, “Got” means they purchased TechCrunch.
The only reason I went back and looked for this particular article at all was because someone mentioned that TechCrunch got bought by AOL casually at work. I mean, this is big news and I read TechCrunch fairly regularly so I thought I would have heard about it.
And I sort of did, at least the headline anyways. More specifically, I read it yesterday when the news was still fresh. I didn’t bother reading the post summary because I assumed it was some witty, unimportant article dealing with the whole “Super Angels” media circus editor Mike Arrington created last week.
I mean, “Tim Armstrong” is a very notable CEO, but left out of context it’s just another name. The whole damn headline is so vague and awful I wondered how on earth their editorial team allowed it to be published — considering the weight of the news itself.
Then I looked at who authored the post — Tim Armstrong himself.
So, it probably did irk (or would have irked) a few editors on the site, but seeing as changing it would risk pissing off the new boss of your organization, well I can see their logic in letting it slide.
The horrible thing about this particular post is that it unintentionally frames what people fear will happen to an AOL-TechCrunch. The site has standards, except for at certain times and for certain things, which apparently includes letting your new CEO think he’s recognized well enough to write a headline like “Tim Armstrong: We Got TechCrunch”.
Editorial Independence must start *after* that was posted.