TechCrunch Editor Arrington Leaves AOL After Clash to Start Venture Fund

TechCrunch blog founder Michael Arrington, following a clash with parent company AOL Inc. (AOL), is leaving to work on a new venture fund.

Erick Schonfeld will succeed Arrington as the top editor of the technology-news site, AOL said today in a statement.

AOL, the New York-based Internet company struggling to replace shrinking Web-access revenue with advertising sales, bought TechCrunch in September 2010 as part of a broader effort to acquire content. Arrington, writing on TechCrunch last week, said that AOL wasn’t giving the blog the “editorial independence” promised at the time of the acquisition.

AOL, in its statement, said that it has invested in Arrington’s new venture fund. Arrington has raised $20 million from AOL and venture capital firms including Sequoia Capital, two people familiar with the plan said this month.

AOL, based in New York, fell 3 cents to $14.75 at 4 p.m. on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock has dropped 38 percent this year.

After the acquisition of TechCrunch, Arrington said he planned to stay at AOL for at least three years. AOL paid $25 million for TechCrunch, people familiar with the matter said at the time.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brett Pulley in New York at bpulley @bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at pelstrom@bloomberg.net

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