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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Arrington’

#PRFail: Microsoft Offers To Pay TechCrunch Founder To Promote Internet Explorer


Today in not-exactly-breaking news: Microsoft Internet Explorer lags well behind both Chrome and Firefox when it comes to overall browser usage (though they’re still ahead of Safari and Opera, whatever that is).

This week, the company “accidentally” committed a big PR no-no in its latest attempt to promote the browser; a “vendor” offered to pay TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington to write a post hyping the “reworked” version of the product.

Arrington responded with a post on UnCrunched expressing his disbelief: “do people still do this?”

Apparently so.

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Revolving Door: Trust in Media, Perez Hilton, Meredith, and More

We omitted last week’s usual Thursday Revolving Door column, so we present a special Monday edition. We’ll be back to our regularly scheduled articles this Thursday.

A Gallup poll found that 55 percent of Americans have little or no trust in the media, and 77 percent of respondents to a Pew survey said media outlets “tend to favor one side.” But the Pew poll found that only 39 percent of Americans have little or no trust for media. Pew also recently found that local news is a major info source for many.

TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington has already launched a new blog, Uncrunched, where he says he’ll be doing “the same thing I’ve been doing since 2005.” His first post, which simply read “Here I am,” has 512 comments. You’ll remember that Arrington ran into issues when his venture capital fund Crunchfund was announced. He officially left AOL a couple of weeks ago.

Speaking of TechCrunch, Paul Carr, the TC writer who fired off a resignation post recently, is launching a new company backed by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh and Michael Arrington, Business Insider reports. Sources tell BI that the company will focus on media and technology.

Perez Hilton’s family-focused blog (reallyPerezitos has launched.

Staffers from both editorial and marketing have left Meredith.

Click through for more of the latest media changes.

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Arrington Officially Out, But AOL’s Issues Remain

A picture of Arrington at TechCrunch Disrupt, tweeted by Alexia Tsotsis

Michael Arrington is officially out at TechCrunch and Erick Schonfeld is in as editor. So says the AOL statement, available on AllThingsD, which also says Arrington’s departure was his decision, calls the TechCrunch acquisition “a success,” and teases more editorial changes in “the coming months.”

Even with that resolved (perhaps), there’s still the problem of making all of the brands beneath the AOL umbrella one cohesive, working unit.

“Since Tim Armstrong took over the struggling Internet company in 2009, AOL has acquired more than half a dozen companies in an effort to shake off its reputation as an Internet has-been and become an ad-supported destination for news and entertainment content on the Web,” the Wall Street Journal writes. It may shed that old reputation, but with the company’s internal problems making news, it’s new rep could be just as bad.

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Revolving Door: AOL and Arrington, Conde Nast, and More

As we mentioned in this morning’s Ticker, Michael Arrington is officially out at AOL, at least for now. Forbes broke the news last night, with the caveat that things could change since there has been a lot of back-and-forth during the past week over his status with the company. The fate of CrunchFund is also still unknown.

The story says, “Huffington clearly erred here in okaying a project without fully understanding its public relations consequences,” but she ultimately appears to be the most “influential” leader at AOL. The Atlantic Wire says AOL might have reason to worry if the TechCrunch staff and readers leave with Arrington. In case you missed it, Arrington published a story on TechCrunch with his own set of demands before he got the ax.

Conde Nast is spinning off Reddit, but hanging on to ownership of the company. Conde bought Reddit five years ago.

Google is buying restaurant guide Zagat in an effort to beef up its local offerings, The New York Times reports. For Zagat, the sale also helps them at a time when it has seen its prominence decline in the face of competition from other online restaurant guide sources.

For more media news and moves, click through.

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TechCrunch Reporters Speak Out About CrunchFund

TechCrunch's Michael Arrington

TechCrunch writers are speaking out about the news that TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington is launching a $20 million venture capital fund, CrunchFund, news that has been met with criticism and confusion since it was announced.

Writer MG Siegler’s post “TechCrunch As We Know It May Be Over” warns AOL against bringing in their own EIC to replace Arrington, saying it would be a “a colossal fucking mistake” and says he’s letting “our readers, know before you find out via a press release.” Writer Paul Carr defends the site against a separate column in the Times that also questions the ethics of the launch. (TechCrunch’s Carr previously wrote a column criticizing the move though supportive of Arrington and the site.)

Both writers talk about the journalistic independence that TechCrunch reporters have, and it’s both interesting and insightful to read these two columns about the situation. But it would be better for TechCrunch if there was a more cohesive message coming from the company leadership on what’s happening.

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AOL Announces TechCrunch Acquisition, on TechCrunch

After days of speculation, AOL’s acquisition of Michael Arrington‘s TechCrunch is official.  As the media fishbowl attempts to uncover the dollar figure–and former collaborator Jason Calacanis calling Arrington a “sociopath”–we can’t help notice the way it went down.  AOL CEO Tim Armstrong rushed the stage at TechCrunch Disrupt (said to be their best revenue stream) this morning, while the press release headered by his own byline went live on the blogTechCrunch, not AOL’s.

So does TechCrunch still think AOL’s PR department is clueless?  Arrington will presumably have to work with corporate communications and other departments to ensure smooth integration, as well as receive the most sizable of checks.

Chatter in the PR world will be about whether or not TechCrunch can retain it bigfoot status in the startup media scene, and whether or not founder Michael Arrington’s hardline approach to embargoes and exclusives will hold.  Let us know if you think the deal harkens a kinder, gentler TechCrunch.

TechCrunch’s Arrington: Don’t Ask Me To Do Dinner

Inc. magazine gave TechCrunch editor Michael Arrington a chance to sound off on his work style in their “The Way I Work Feature.” For those in tech PR, it’s no surprise that Mr. Arrington’s site has quickly moved to the top of the tech press pecking order. The good thing for PR pros is that Arrington says he’s open to meeting your CEO…just not for dinner:

I don’t like PR people for the most part. I like going to CEOs directly. If a PR person suggests I meet the CEO of this new company, I always say yes. But if they say, “Can we set up drinks? Or dinner?” I say no. I hate that—it is a huge waste of time. Let’s meet over coffee or get on Skype video and talk about your company, but I don’t want to chitchat about your family, because I don’t know you. If I have time to go to dinner, I want to do that with my college friends or my parents or whomever I’m dating.

Arrington works long hours, so chances are he’ll see your email or announcement no matter what time you send it. Oh, and if you’re looking to bond over shared musical tastes, Arrington says he likes music that is “not happy music—Metallica, Eminem, Rage Against the Machine.”

RELATED: Check out Arrington’s missive today, “Anatomy Of A PR Spin (AKA How To Lie Like A Pro).”

Have You Seen a More Awkward Interview? TechCrunch’s Mike Arrington Interviews MySpace PR Chief

Does it seem like MySpace PR chief Dani Dudeck agreed to do this interview with TechCrunch editor Michael Arrington? Not at all. She doesn’t answer any questions, but instead just awkwardly smiles into the camera.

Arrington and Dudeck have been rumored to be “romantically linked” at one point, says Alley Insider’s Nicholas Carlson. Perhaps that explains the awkwardness?

As Carlson writes, “If his goal was to embarrass her, it worked.” Editor-In-Chief On Why The Publication Honors Embargoes

In the latest edition of’s Media Beat interview show, editor-in-chief and senior VP of content for Lance Ulanoff talks a bit about the publication’s embargo policy.

“The other thing that is unique about us, and certainly it’s a difference between us and TechCrunch, because I’ve argued online with [TechCrunch editor] Michael Arrington about this, is we sign non-disclosure agreements,” he said.

“All that means is that we’ll meet with the company in confidence so they will show us stuff way early, we can write something, put it in queue, and publish it the moment that the NDA, or embargo or non-disclosure agreement lifts. TechCrunch won’t do that. In fact he said that he’ll sign them and then he’ll break them.”

Ulanoff said one of the reasons why this is necessary is is one of the few publications left that does “lab-based testing” of products, which often takes a significant amount of time.

View all past episodes of Media Beat here.

Year in Review: Top 5 Pitches

prnewser_2009 (2).gif

This latest Year in Review starts high, and goes very, very low. Our #1 pitch of the year is more of a trend, and it is a big one. While our fifth pitch on the list marks the only time we have used the word vagina in a post…

1) The future of media

Our top pick for the big pitch of 2009 is an amalgam of everything to do with how media is consumed, and how publishers will make money from content. The second wave of publicity around Amazon’s Kindle was ten times bigger than the first, while Walter Isaacson‘s essay in TIME provocatively titled “How to Save Your Newspaper” in the beginning of the year sparked countless blog posts and arguments inside the media fishbowl. Development of the so-called “iTunes for magazines” (PR handled by CooperKatz) got underway through cooperation of five media giants. Rupert Murdoch continued to threaten to pull Dow Jones content from Google News prompting us to wonder who is Goliath in this fight?

Continued after the jump:

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